Metacrawler combines four search engines: Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask. No help link is available. Boolean search options are available under Advanced Search in question form but do not seem to work very well when AND or OR are typed into the general search box. Results ranking is automatic but can be adjusted under Preferences as to the amount of results per page only. Sub-searches can be done in search box located both at the top and the bottom of the search results. Language options are the same 10 European languages as in German Crawler – which was a surprise. I would have expected such an extensive meta-search engine to be more international. No translation option was readily available.
“Fredericksburg” Unlike the single search engines, MetaCrawler provided only 70 results for my search. Unlike single search engines, however, all seventy were relevant. Automated sub-search pop-ups referred to Virginia and Texas locations, mostly hotels, towns and battlefields.
“Fastnacht” yielded 62 results. More than half were in English, although I had not specified a language. All were relevant. A second search after selecting German as target language returned the same results in English mostly. No comment as the one on Germany Crawler reminded me to check cookie settings.
Not having used a multi-search engine before, I was surprised to find so few results. The fact that specific language searches are so complicated does not make this type of tool useful in an international search where results in a specific language are desired, such as providing an authentic text. However, there are clear advantages when searching for something specific. One avoids having to sort through pages of irrelevant material.