Exalead is now searching over four billion Web pages and aims to reach eight billion by July. As many information professionals say, the size of the web database is irrelevant if it generates rubbish results but a critical mass is essential to encourage users to use a search engine, and Exalead has certainly done that now.
I am a great fan of Exalead: it has several unique features and has resurrected a couple that were discarded by the other main stream engines long ago. You can use wildcards (*) at the end of a word and the NEAR command looks for your terms within 16 words of each other. Unique features include phonetic and approximate spelling search options, and the pattern matching option enables you to cheat – ahem, I mean – can help you find that final, elusive solution for your crossword puzzle.
And if you want to run your search in other search tools after running it through Exalead, you can set up short cuts to them from Exalead’s home page. (For further details see Tales From the Terminal Room October 2005: Exalead revamps web search.