Specialised search engines such as BiggerBoat and GlobalSpec can offer a good alternative for those unable to find what they want on the big four, according to Computerworld.

The site argues that although general search engines such as Google and Ask.com will never truly be eclipsed by more specific sites, the emergence of specialised search gives users another valuable option.

The site chooses to test BiggerBoat, a search engine aimed to provide results for entertainment and in particular online music and film shopping.

BiggerBoat allows users to search for music products – excluding mp3s and downloads – by artist, title, producer, and style among a number of other characteristics making it ideal for those who wish to search specifically for music.

The site gives the example that for someone who may have taken a liking to the music currently being used to promote Apple’s new iPod Nano, which features the lyrics "1 2 3 4", BiggerBoat allows users to search for "1 2 3 4," and then filter the results by artist.

Once this has been done you are able to click on the album (The Reminder) or the artist (Feist) as well as find details of where you can purchase the song or album.

One restriction that is noted however, is the search engine’s inability to find items using context. Therefore it is pointed out that while a Google search for "iPod Nano" could potentially find the track, BiggerBoat would not return a valid match.

The article adds that web developers and search engine optimisation specialists may be interested to know that there is a specialist engine available for them in the form of Krugle. This search engine offers its users access to a database of code, tech pages and web projects.

Amongst the most popular and well known sites that offer specialised search are Wikipedia, an online user maintained encyclopaedia and the Internet Movie Database or IMDB.

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