On the next page are ten of the most creative and inspiring search engine interfaces that I have ever come across. Not surprisingly, not one of them came from the well-financed labs of the major search engines.

In order to see them in action, you’ll need to set aside some time this weekend to click through to each one, but you won’t regret it. If you are involved with a search startup it is absolutely mandatory. Be warned, you may find Google and Bing a bit more boring after this, you could get hooked on the alternatives like I did!

Finally, please come back here after you have seen the last one and leave a comment; let us know which one was your favorite.

As previously featured on this blog, Aromicon is amazing.  It searches for wine by the characteristics of a real wine tasting, not price, place of origin or rating – these things are all hidden at a wine tasting, but rather taste and bouquet.

In the same way, CraftBeer searches for beer by color and taste:
BEER COLOR: The range is shown by graduated color in glasses. HOPS:
The size of the green dot indicates the intensity of hop bitterness and/or aroma.
BODY: The size of the gray dot indicates fullness and/or sweetness.

One of the best search engine launches of all times – the hotelicopter.
If only it had not been grounded!  Check out the final logo and decide for yourself.

This is MizPee, the lady who guides women to clean restrooms.
A truly classic concept with a smart and informative logo.

How to search for news? By newspapers of course.  The Newseum knows this and joins the other newspaper search engines that we have covered like Rayogram.  See also the USAToday NewsDeck.

How’s this for graphic design?  A TV search engine with
televisions for the interface. Well done TVARK!

This project, iFISHu, lets you search, I mean fish, for your friends.  Granted, it’s not a search engine for fish, but it’s still a visual delight compared to typing someone’s name in a little rectangle.

This isn’t just any book, this is a BIG book, from Big Book Search.
The largest and cleanest book search engine you’ll ever see.

What’s the logical way to search for businesses? With
business cards, of course.  The digital version of a
bulletin board filled with local business owners with the
added benefit of filtering in various useful ways.

TagGalaxy, of course.  A galaxy of tags. ’nuff said!