There are two main types of Metasearch Engines, and both can be helpful depending on the situation:
- Integrated Search: combines results from different search engines into a single result field
- Unified Interface: allows you to quickly transition between different search engines
I will give examples of each, so that you understand their use, and you can see the difference for yourself. I like using both resources, but you may find that you only like one of them or neither.
1. Integrated Search
The website I use the most is ixQuick. Some research has shown that ixQuick is actually more accurate than Google, on average. Try a simple search such as "Apple Macbook Air". At the top, you can specify which sites you want to search (Ask, EntireWeb, MSN, NBC, Yahoo, and more). You can also choose whether you want to search the Web, International phone directory, video, or pictures. The coolest feature about ixQuick is that it organizes your results by relevance. Each search result has a star number that illustrates the number of search engines that found that particular result. For example, the first result is the Apple webpage for Macbook Air, which has 8 stars (8 search engines found this site in their results). The third result was a CNET review of the Macbook Air which has 4 stars. This is really useful because odds are that if different search engines have found it, it is relevant to your search. This is also beneficial because it can help you find new sites that you didn't know about before. For instance, in my image search above I found several images I really liked from deviantART and ImageShack, web sites I had never heard about.
Also, check out Info.com, another reliable metasearch engine.
2. Unified Interface
This can be very useful, especially since it can be used for a plethora of search items (much more than just news). They can search Books, Social Media, Jobs, Images, Torrents, Videos, and many more. My favorite is Search.IO. The most useful application of this I have found is for images. Most image search engines have the best and most applicable results in the first couple pages (the later pages have declining marginal returns). I did a search for Ipod Nano images. Say I'm looking for a very specific style/image, this is an awesome resource because I can look through 10 different image sites all at once to find the perfect image. Also, Search.IO has a very nice interface.
Personally, I have found that using this for news can be a little bit of overkill. If you specify your query well enough, you should not have to look through a half-dozen different search engines (it should really only take 1, maybe 2). However, this was my personal opinion regarding this.