Asking how many ways you can make a search engine is like asking how many ways you can scramble an egg, there are a number of different ways and although it’s not rocket science you can still end up with something inedible.
People powered search is the trendiest of
egg scrambling search engine recipes at the moment. Service such as ChaCha have contractual employees answering search queries in real time. The Jason Calacanis vehicle Mahalo launched in alpha this week with a Wikipedia meets Google model which aims to provide pre-written results for 10,000 search queries.
Danville, CA based Sproose marries human powered search to Digg.
Sproose is a personalized search engine that combines social networking with peer-moderated rankings giving users the ability to prioritize, customize and fine-tune searches to produce relevant web search results.
Sproose users can effectively categorize and index relevant sites and tailor those for personal or group use. Through collective moderation and scoring users can sort through existing sites to assemble only the most appropriate results.
The results aren’t bad. It isn’t clear where the search results are originally pulled from (I’d guess Google) and the social voting feature on link priority creates a different search experience. Video results come from Blinkx and Sproose indexes over 25,000 sources for news. Whether it will take is another matter; everyone wants to be the next Google and there is no shortage of competitors. I can honestly say though that I’ve seen many worse than Sproose.