There have been quite a few posts recently about alternative search engines:
Perhaps it’s just topic of the month, but I wonder if it indicates a deeper disatisfaction with general search. These articles are featuring prominently in Digg.
The articles cover alternative search engines which focus on specfic topic areas, and/or provide more specialised tools than Google, Yahoo or MSN. I suspect the people who are interested in alternative search engines are hardcore internet users, so most people wouldn’t be aware of the alternatives, much less use them, so it’s hard to see how they could ever get the critical mass required to go mainstream. However, some engines certainly don’t need to. If an engine serves a niche market better than Google does, then the niche engine should be viable.
Do you know of any examples of popular niche search engines, beyond local and shopping?