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Monday, November 20, 2006

Search Forums and Discussions with Omgili

A blossoming of niche search engines is underway. Enter Omgili, which has been around for a year, that indexes forums and discussion boards. The power of forum search is that it filters out ordinary webpages for the times when you want to find discussions on a topic. You can use it to see what people are saying about a particular product that you want to buy, or find answers to questions you have on a certain topic. Search results helpfully display the number of replies to a forum topic. However, there are still some improvements to be made. A search for "Web 2.0" brings up several Russian language pages as the top results, but there's no way to filter results by language. This might be a problem with the ranking algorithm, or it's possible that the English-speaking part of the web is missing out on some interesting insights.

Supported forum software includes phpBB, VBulletin, YaBB, SMF, Invision, Snitz and FuseTalk, and browser search plugins are also available. For the voyeuristic, recent queries can be seen.

On the whole, if Omgili can return more relevant search results, it could prove a nice complement to regular web searching.


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