I’ve been using Zakta for several months now as my primary search engine – and it is about time for me to spread the word through this blog. Google is now my secondary search engine – yes, I still use it, but 95% of my queries are resolved by Zakta.
Why utilize Zakta? Social Search. Google created SearchWiki which could have knocked the social search competition out of the market – but then they abandoned this important project. Zakta is a better, older, more mature engine with features similar to and exceeding SearchWiki.
Here are the killer points for using Zakta as your primary engine:
- The results displayed to you are sorted not only by algorithmic methods but also by what others like you think about these results. Thus, results which might be on the tenth page of Google but really are the best result will show up on the first page of Zakta.
- You can remove and reorganize results and when you come back to that query they remain in the same order. This allows you to create a customized resource showing you the pages you like best for a specific topic.
- Zakta oftentimes offers a “reference” site for a query. This is a encyclopedic source (e.g. Wikipedia) that is consider to provide generally reliable and objective information on a topic.
- Zakta oftentimes offers a best bet for a search result – this is when they feel confident that your query’s answer will be found on a specific site – saving you from sorting through the results yourself.
Here are the big areas I think Zakta needs to improve in:
- They include foreign language results in their results sometimes, especially when it is a more refined query. They need to include primary language results only unless an option is enabled to allow for foreign language results. I’m sorry, I can’t read Chinese – that link won’t help me…and I’m sure my Chinese (Spanish, French, Ethiopian, etc.) compatriots suffer the same frustration when results appear in English (if they don’t know English – I am always amazed and impressed by so many who speak two to four different languages!).
- If you eliminate a result from a search query it disappears but there is no way to get it back. There needs to be a trash bin for restoring queries.
- Sometimes, even if you provide quotation marks, Zakta seems to include results where the words aren’t together – or where it is entirely unapparent why the result is in any way related to the query. I should not that as someone who works in IT and a wannabe polymath, I somewhat regularly receive no results pages from Google – so this is not something most users will experience – I seem to always need or want to find arcane information.
- Zakta allows you to search the other major search engines right through their site – unfortunately they don’t provide a way to say “include this result in my Zakta results” or “allow me to edit this result” – it needs to be a seamless Zakta interface no matter what search engine I am using. This will likely occur through a browser add-on – they have one currently but it doesn’t have this feature.