Question & Answer Search Engines

Mar 25, 2005 • 9:21 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Search Engines

A new thread is just getting started over at Cre8asite Forums named How to get answers to questions. In that thread, moderator, Barry Weldford, asks what search engines are out there to give you answers to specific questions? He brings up the name of one such engine, named BrainBoost, which works well.

I then brought in Ask Jeeves, which is known for its question and answer's ability. The famous example is searching on When was Michael Jordan drafted?, which gives you one of those "Smart Search" features that Ask is so well known for.

So I decided to compare the two. Whereas, Ask Jeeves served up that answer in a nice little box, BrainBoost gave the correct answer as well, but not in a nice little box. I went on to try out other questions:

Q: When was Michael Jordan drafted? A: Ask Jeeves got it right, no box this time. But look at those nice "Related Topics" on the right. BrainBoost got it right as well.

Q: Who was the 27th president of the united states? A: Jeeves again with class. BrainBoost right again.

Overall, Jeeves has a nicer interface and seems a lot quicker in returning results. Other engines will give you the results, but not boxed in like Jeeves. Does it matter, I believe so.

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Bart Noppen

03/25/2005 09:44 pm

Do you know ? I've used the SE before and I liked what I saw.

Barry Schwartz

03/25/2005 09:46 pm

Yes I do, and I left them out of this entry because their answers are not too great. :)

Yosef Haas

03/28/2005 03:06 pm

This morning I noticed MSN touting their natual language search answers. They of course give an example that works beautifully in their engine. I tried the ones you tested and got some good results: When was ben franklin born? Got it right and in a nice separate spot on top. Who was the 27th president of the united states? Right again. When was Michael Jordan drafted? No answer. But funny enough - the first result was none other than seoroundtable :)

Bart Noppen

03/28/2005 08:55 pm

Barry - such SE's need to be reviewed on a case by case basis but like I said, I've used it a couple of times and I got nice results.

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