Search the Web with Gigablast

Use Gigablast to Search the Web

Note: The code that powers Gigablast's search engine results was released as open source in 2013; Gigablast still powers its own search but functions as more of a platform for other projects. 

What is Gigablast?

Gigablast is a Web search engine with over 2 billion pages in its index. Gigablast offers fast service, relevant search query results, and a couple of pretty cool extra search features that are well worth your time.

Gigablast Home Page

You'll find that the Gigablast home page is clean and uncluttered, always my personal preference. In addition to the main search bar, you have available to you Directory and Travel Search. I'll get to those in a minute, but for right now, let's focus on the straight Web Search.

Gigablast Search

Searching with Gigablast is easy; just type in a query and go. My search for Halloween costume not only retrieved plenty of relevant results, but I also got spelling suggestions ("did you mean halloween costumes"), Giga Bits, Reference Pages, and Related Pages.

Gigablast Giga Bits

Gigablast's Giga Bits are "related topics dynamically generated on a per query basis." Basically, Gigablast is offering you search suggestions based on what your search query is, and for the most part, my Giga Bits were highly relevant and helped me think of more search concepts I could use to narrow down my search.

Gigablast Reference Pages

You might see Reference Pages on some of your search results pages; these are "sets of expert web sites which contain lists of links relevant to the query." Not all of the Reference Pages will be very reference-like; but for the most part this is a useful feature.

Gigablast Related Pages

Gigablast Related Pages are "related web sites which may not even include the query terms." Okay, this is a very, very interesting feature that I really got into. More about this feature from a Gigablast press release:

"Related Pages are highly relevant search results which do not necessarily contain the searcher's query terms. A lot of these related pages are never even returned by other search engines for that reason.," said Matt Wells, CEO & founder of Gigablast."

Gigablast Search Result Features

The more time I spent with Gigablast, the more I was impressed. For instance, at the bottom of every search result, you'll see five unique items that most other search engines don't include: archived copy, stripped, older copies, indexed date, and modified date. Here's the scoop on these features:

  • Archived Copy: This is a direct link to Gigablast's cached copy of the Web page.
  • Stripped: Image-free copy of the page.
  • Older Copies: Hard-coded link to Internet Archive's copy of that site's information.
  • Indexed Date: Date that Gigablast's spiders last crawled that page.
  • Modified Date: Date that page was actually modified by site owner.

This profile of Gigablast is continued on page two.

This Gigablast profile is continued from page one.

Gigablast also offers you the opportunities to try your search on the Open Directory, Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, and Teoma. In addition, you can choose to have your Gigablast Family Filter on, or off (the radio buttons are at the bottom of the search results pages).

Gigablast Advanced Search

You can do a lot of advanced searching with Gigablast Advanced Search, including word exclusion, phrase searching, restrict to certain URL's, site clustering to be turned on or off, results per page, etc. You can also check out the unique Gigablast Search Syntax that will take over where Gigablast Advanced Search leaves off.

Gigablast Search Options-Web, Directory, Blogs, Travel, Gov

As I've already mentioned, you have a few search options with Gigablast; the Web, obviously, but then you have a few more. Gigablast's Directory is a good resource, a solid directory and it seems to be comprised of some pretty good reference sites, primarily.

Gigablast Travel Search allows you to search Gigablast's entire index for just information related to travel; this could be anything from information about a specific destination to flight resources. I had fun searching for information about my home town, Portland, Oregon, and especially appreciated the extra Giga Bits my search turned up.

Why Should I Use Gigablast?

A couple of things that I especially like about Gigablast:

  • Gigablast is easy to use. There's not a lot of fancy features; it's focus is on straightforward and simple search.
  • Gigablast returns good results. I really like the Giga Bits search suggestions/search concepts deal as well.
  • Gigablast search options. The Gigablast blog, travel, and government searches, while not perfect, are definitely full of potential and returned some pretty good results.