My main complaint about metasearches is that advanced searching with them isn’t easy — you tend to end up doing basic keyword searches, which is fine sometimes. But sometimes you want to do something a little more complex. I was very happy to get an e-mail about a site called Searchzooka ( http://searchzooka.com/ ) which allows you to create a complex search and then run it on several different sites.
The front page looks like a cutdown advanced search page. You can include keywords, exclude keywords, sort results by date, limit your search to certain date spans, limit search results to domains or top-level domains, etc. Once you’ve entered a search, you’ll get a second screen that summaries your search and gives you links to launch your search on several different engines, including Google, Bing, Digg, Technorati, and Ask. (There’s also a “Recovery key” so you can restore a search without having to be registered with the site.)
Click on a search engine name and you’ll get the search results open in a new window. Not all search engines can encompass all the search parameters you want to do, though, so sometimes your results will not be quite what you want.
You can organize your searchings into folders, clone your search as the basis for a new search, and add notations (the recovery key makes it possible to do this kind of customizing without registration — the string in the recovery key that I saw was nine characters long but bear in mind that you are using a key to save this data, and not a password-protected account.)
If you’re looking for a quick way to create and launch searches across a variety of resources this fits the bill. My only concern is the choice of search engines — it seems a little basic. How about Twitter, or Facebook’s public search? Worth a look.