Without search, it would be near-impossible to find the torrent you want. Vuze, a popular bittorrent client, makes extensive use of it in its own software. But, while search engines are an integral part of the Internet, meta search engines are what drive many torrent sites and clients.
What Is Meta Search?
A meta search engine is a search engine that either compiles data from other search engines or searches within a specific website for information (i.e. keywords). For example, Google would be considered a search engine, but Dogpile, Vivisimo, Mamma, and Metacrawler are all meta search engines. In this context, think of each of these meta search engines as a ‘search engine of search engines’. It takes all of the information in, say, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and maybe a few other search engines and then applies its own algorithm to deliver results to users.
Another type of meta search engine is one that searches within a particular website. An historical example of this was Yahoo!’s “Rollyo” service. Rollyo was a program that allowed you to customize your own search experience by creating custom search engines that would search specific sites of your choosing.
How Does The Vuze Meta Search Work?
The site, www.Vuze.com, is dedicated to providing users both with a strong client and also a strong education. It encourages users to learn about intellectual property and copyright laws, and discourages copyright infringement.
To this end, its popular bittorrent client uses its pre-populated metasearch engines to help users find what it hopes will be legal, non-infringing and free torrent files. Its custom search engine compiles information from Archive.org and other popular torrent sites, with a focus on content that is in the public domain, licensed under the Creative Commons, GNU, Copyleft, or which is otherwise authorized by copyright holders for free sharing.
Users may add additional sites, customizing the metasearch engine.
Are Meta Search Engines Better Than Regular Search Engines?
Some argue that metasearch is inferior to ordinary search engines because it just duplicates search results. However, metasearch does have a place. Specifically, and in the context of torrents, it helps users find legal to share content to download. This helps reduce the risk of the user accidentally downloading illegal content.
But, aside from copyright issues, metasearch helps users filter the vast amount of information on the web. In the case of Vuze’s metasearch, it would be impractical for users to use Google to find torrents on a specific website.
While users could theoretically go directly to the torrent site, Vuze’s client comes equipped with an antivirus program. One of the risks of downloading free and open source content is that the user doesn’t know whether that content is corrupted or contains a virus or malicious code.
By integrating a metasearch feature into its program, users get a better experience and are objectively safer from potential threats.
Katherine Phillips enjoys discovering new ways for technology to work harder for the everyday user. From media resources and security to file management and entertainment, she loves writing about her insights into maximizing the web.