Do you ever feel the search results that Google yields are too mainstream? Are you looking to explore the cavernous, cobweb-laden outer reaches of the interwebs? If you want to spend some time on some deep discovery, Million Short might be your ticket.
Million Short's name says it all. It's a search engine that brings back results that are a million sites short of what you'd find in Google. You can chose to remove the top million, hundred thousand, ten thousand, and on down to just one hundred from your results.
Million Short is an experimental web search engine (really, more of a discovery engine) that allows you to REMOVE the top million (or top 100k, 10k, 1k, 100) sites from the results set. We thought might be somewhat interesting to see what we'd find if we just removed an entire slice of the web.
The thinking was the same popular sites (we're not saying popular equals irrelevant) show up again and again, Million Short makes it easy to discover sites that just don't make it to the top of the search engine results for whatever reason (poor SEO, new site, small marketing budget, competitive keyword(s) etc.). Most people don't look beyond page 1 when doing a search and now they don't have to.
For instance, let's say that I used Million Short to search "Hipster." Gone are results from Wikpedia, Urban dictionary, WikiHow, KnowYourMeme, and even latfh.com (Look at that F*cking Hipster, a popular blog). What it has returned are various sites that I didn't see even on the 5th page of Google search results (and I didn't dare go past that). The lone exception was HipsterHandbook, which appeared on the 1st page of both engines.
In theory, Million Short is helping you discover stuff that you would never ever see using Google or even Bing or Yahoo!. It's stuff that would be buried under hundreds of pages of search results. Let's look at another example, a search for "The Beatles."
Million Short failed to remove the top search result from a Google search of "The Beatles," which was thebeatles.com. But everything that follows are deeper sites. Million Short removed (once again) Wikipedia, last.fm, mtv.com, apple.com, amazon.com and a multitude of lyrics and guitar tabs sites from my results.
One result I stumbled upon was from a site called suckmybeatles.com, and it's basically a guy who really thinks The Beatles blow who posts blog entries and funny pictures detailing this (unpopular) opinion. That was well worth my time, so I guess score one for Million Short.
Million Short was brought to my attention via reddit, so let's take a look at some of the reviews from the community (which are mixed).
I just had a very rewarding experience with this thing. I searched my own name, and through pure serendipity the first result was an artist, with the same name as I. The art he paints is 50's-60's pin-up (the old-style classy kind, not the desperate new variety that melded with rockabilly, retro, and reality-tv-tattoo-culture.) Also really sweet looking vintage car ads for cars he imagined, and propaganda-type posters. Shit is so awesome. I threw money at him and got a few paintings, which I will be hanging in my living room, because consequently the paintings are signed with my name and I'm a pretty good liar.
TL;DR I searched my own name and found a same-name artist, so I bought his work and now I'm "a painter."
Bullshit? Maybe. Entirely plausible for this site? Definitely.
This is a nice technique. It's like searching a whole other internet.
Edit: this is real nice. Look at the sidebar of the sites it blocked, and tell me how many of those you think had what you were looking for? For me the side sites are mostly online stores, and cheap sites like ehow.com and about.com. Good riddance. Google and Bing seem to think I want to buy everything I'm searching for and they really want me to buy it at Amazon.
This is actually pretty sweet. It reminds me of the gopher days when it was nearly impossible to get exactly what you wanted, but you would learn so much more from the journey.
But FLEABttn writes:
It's like a search engine designed to find things I'm not looking for!
And nkozyra writes:
These results were shockingly terrible.
Look, Million Short is obviously no Google killer. It's not even a Yahoo killer. It's an alternative search engine for people wanting a unique search experience. If you're looking for popular, relevant information and you want it fast, it's probably not the way to go. If you're looking to find some random corners of the internet, it might tickle your fancy.
Just be prepared to find stuff like this as your top result (h/t reddit). ಠ_ಠ