Scour.com is a search engine that “scours” several other search engines and tries to return the most relevant results. The site searches Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Live Search and OneRiot. In addition, the site has just recently added results from Twitter and Digg. Search results are based on rankings at these sites, plus the fact that Scour users can vote and leave comments on search results. This user input is included in the algorithm used to determine relevancy as well. To encourage users to participate in the rankings, the site offers points for searches, voting and commenting. After a certain number of points are reached, users can redeem points for a Visa gift card.
Registered users have a profile on the site and can maintain a list of friends. Users gain points when friends they have invited join the site. Users have a My Scour page, where they can access their profile, see their voting and commenting activity and view their Friends’ activity. Users can also Message other users on the site. Search results on the site show the number of Up or Down votes a search item has received, as well as the number of comments. In addition, the page rank on Google, Yahoo, Live and OneRiot is shown, if the result is in the top 10 from any of those sites. The first two or more search results are sponsored links and the site displays Google ads on the search results pages.
Scour.com was founded in 2007 and was originally named Aftervote (before that it was Younanimous). The site was purchased in 2008 by Sherman Oaks, CA-based Internext Media, the parent company of ABCSearch Network and was renamed Scour.com.
Competition to Scour comes from sites such as Monster Crawler and Dogpile, which are meta search engines, as well as major search engines such as Google and Microsoft Live Search. Scour is a meta search engine, which means that it compiles its results from other search engines. So it is most similar to Monster Crawler and Dogpile. Both of these meta search engines base their results on more search engines than Scour, however, taking into account some of the smaller search engines such as ExactSeek. Scour has added a social element to their search results, however, with the voting and commenting systems.
The Scour.com site has a very clean and uncluttered look and feel. The home page is dominated by a search bar. The search results pages are uncluttered as well, despite the fact that they display advertisements, which are relatively unobtrusive. The site is very responsive and search results are returned in a matter of a few seconds. Navigation is intuitive and the user interface is very clean. Ads are displayed on search results pages, although they are relatively unobtrusive.
Registration is not required to use the Scour.com site. Unregistered users can use the site like any other search engine. Registration is free and registered users can participate in the voting, commenting, points system and social aspects of the site. The registration process asks for full name, username, password, email address and age. Validation of the email address is required.
The site does not offer a premium membership – all features of site are available to registered free users.
The Scour.com site is recommended to anyone looking for more relevant search results. The site probably has less spam results than the major search engines, as spam results tend to get voted down quickly. In addition, the site should appeal to users who would like to participate in the ranking process by voting and commenting on results.