Metasearch engines take your search request and run it on a number of search engines simultaneously, saving you the hassle of figuring out which engine works best. An inspired idea, but with a few flaws. For one thing, metasearchers don`t return every result from each engine - only a small selection from each - and their rankings are sometimes unhelpful, jumbling the best sites with lesser sources. Go2Net`s Metacrawler, however, prides itself on being the most popular and most powerful metasearch on the Web: it searches Yahoo!, Lycos, Infoseek, WebCrawler, Excite, AltaVista, Thunderstone, About.com, and Looksmart simultaneously.
What to love: Quirky tools like MiniCrawler (a tiny window that gives you dsktop access to the MetaCrawler engine) and MetaSpy (to see what others are searching for).
When to leave: When MetaSpy queries like "super chicken" and "erect nipples" shake your faith in humanity.