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Wolfram Alpha, another rival for Google?

wolfram alpha

Long ago, I posted my impression on Cuil, a new search engine claimed to be better than Google. That statement was quickly turned into a mocking from its users and so far we haven’t really heard about Cuil anymore. Wolfram Alpha is another new “search engine” but on a completely different approach. Wolfram Alpha is actually a “computational knowledge engine”, meaning all data collected by Wolfram Alpha are pretty much computable to provide more accurate statistics and knowledge combined from different data sources in its server.

If that sentence sounds blurry to you, let’s just say that Wolfram Alpha is made more towards statistics, numbers, and computational purposes. Some example of queries that I tried are:

  • 25th December 2009 – today (to find out how many more days before this year’s Christmas)
  • Melbourne compared to Sydney (I want to know how big my lovely city is compared to Sydney)
  • London to Melbourne (how long it takes for a flight to get there, time difference, etc)

Wolfram Alpha vs Google

Although some of the queries can be answered in Google search engine (such as “200 Pounds in USD” or “15% OFF 250”, for example), other complicated calculations are only possible through Wolfram Alpha.

In Google search engine or other similar search engines, you have to search by keywords and hoping that these keywords exist on sites or blogs such as mine. Wolfram Alpha, being a computational knowledge engine, works differently so it’s probably not the right tool to use if you are looking for specific keywords or people opinions on things (or other people).

So basically, you can’t compare Wolfram Alpha with Google, because they serve for a different purpose.

Wolfram Alpha Sample Queries & Results

However, you can still find data statistics of your favorite celebrity:

nicole kidman birthday
She's not really my fav, but I can't think of anyone else

Sometimes you want to find something, but Wolfram Alpha misunderstood you. Thankfully, Wolfram Alpha includes a list of category suggestions so you can correct its results easily.

eminem statistics
I never know Eminem is edible

So if you are actually looking for calories information on the M&M chocolate, you can select the “Use as a food instead” since Wolfram Alpha thought “M&M” is actually “Eminem” the rapper :D

m&m chocolate calories

You can also input a website (URL) in Wolfram Alpha which will try to compute and compile all information about the site.

When I tried my own domain (cravingtech.com/blog), it actually gave me this stats:

daily stats graph
I wish this stat is true..31,000 daily visitors?

I wish I’m still studying in the University, knowing that Wolfram Alpha is there in times of need :D Oh wait, no, actually I’m very happy that I’m not in the Uni anymore lol.

Try Wolfram Alpha yourself :)

wolfram alpha team
The hardcore people behind Wolfram Alpha

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