Since revolutionizing web search in the late 90s, Google has greatly improved the quality of its results without having really changed the look & feel. Microsoft & Yahoo alternatives look pretty much the same in content & form. The question is : 'are there alternatives to global gloooogling ?'
Yes, one of them is ask.com trying to present its findings in a more usefull way. Instead of following the Google minimalist approach, where search results fill most of the page, ask.com divides the page into three columns.
The middle one contains the expected search results with 'sponsored links' at the top. Many listings have a little binoculars icon left. If you go on mouse over, you will discover the image of the page the link takes you to, which will save you precious time.
The right-hand column offers two sets of suggestions that can make a difference:'narrow your search' and 'expand your search'. Say you type in 'California vacation', you will get more than 13 million results. The narrowing option includes suggestions such as 'California vacation packages' and 'romantic vacation packages' . The top narrowing option on this last suggestion is 'Romantic vacation packages in new Hampshire'. No possible way to refine my California results...
The third column, down the right hand side of the page, contains an assortment of useful information related to the subject of the search.
Just give a try to ask.com!