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July 22, 2007

SearchCrystal - Visual Meta Search

SearchCrystal is an interesting way to visualize results from different search engines. The results common to more search engines are placed closer to the center of circle and have special icons that indicate the search engines. You can use this visualization to compare search engines, to find the rankings of a site or just to discover less common web pages.

SearchCrystal also lets you view image results, videos, news and blog posts from the most popular specialized search engines, but the overlaps are less frequent here. Unlike most meta-search engines, SearchCrystal lets you view all the top results in a single page and you can also embed it as a widget in your blog. Unfortunately, the site is pretty slow, so I preferred to include a screenshot instead.


  1. Thank you for reviewing searchCrystal.
    Its performance depends on which specific engines are compared. Web engines return results the fastest, whereas some blog or tagging engines can take up to 20 seconds to return results (especially if advanced search functions are used). So, for web engines, searchCrystal displays the processed results withhin 2 seconds.
    Of course, we are continuously working on improving searchCrystal's performance to minimize load and processing times.
    searchCrystal is an experimental service and any feedback on how to improve it would be very welcome:
    For those who want more "search power", please check out our full version, which is free and lets you compare up to 500 results, add comments and share and compare saved crystals with your friends. You can also compare RSS feeds of your choice, where related items are grouped using clustering techniques, or create crystals of your Flickr images.

  2. There's no easy way to see the search results there. It emphasizes on the circular thingy. But, it seriously failed in usability.

    >>>for web engines, searchCrystal displays the processed results withhin 2 seconds.

    I didn't get that performance during my testing.

    After spending some time there testing, all I got was a dizzy head instead of a better search visualization or even search result.

  3. Justin, sorry to hear that "all I got was a dizzy head" and that "But, it seriously failed in usability." Would like learn how we could improve the usability of searchCrystal: concrete suggestions?
    You can reach us at
    Also, you can view the results in a regular list in searchCrystal (icons in the top right corner let select different view options).

  4. It worked okay for me. Interesting concept, but objectively, needs to be smoothed out.