Inout Search Engine Ultimate

by Hack

I run a niche search engine on one of my websites using the free Sphider search software. It has served me very well so far, but whenever I feel like I need something more feature rich and developed, I always find myself poking around the feature list for the Inout Search Engine software.

The front end demo looks a bit snazzier than my fairly vanilla Google-esque looking search page that has nothing more than a logo, a search box, and a few text links. Inout has all that too, but they also can display as many custom “engines” (web, images, video, news, etc.) as you want, in up to fourteen different languages.

As for the results, you can easily integrate and display Yahoo, Google, Bing, and YouTube into your search engine. You can also connect to Twitter, iTunes, and a job search function too. (It doesn’t say which jobs database it uses) It has a plethora of other expected search engine features such as suggesting related search keywords, thumbshot option for each result, show search keywords in bold, html code to paste search box on other sites, mobile search support, presentational display options, and more.

The one thing that I’ve longed for that the Inout Search Engine has is the ability to generate revenue by connecting to the Ebay and Amazon affiliate API. I imagine you could create a custom auction or books engine and have every result loaded with your affiliate code. I do the same thing here with the Reviewazon WordPress plugin (that is on tap to be posted soon by the way), but I’ve never had this same ability to do so in my search results.

For everything this script provided, there was always one reason why I continued to stick with my stripped down open source search software over this feature rich commercial model with everything already built into it. That reason was a search spider. My current search software included a spider that I could send off to specific websites to index and include in my search results so I could ensure my niche results stayed relevant.

The Google and Bing engine results are great if you’re trying to be everything to everyone, but that’s not what I wanted. I’d rather target a specific group or niche and provide pertinent information for those searches. Why reinvent the wheel, right? Google is the wheel. I’ll just customize the wheel the way I want it (and the way I believe my visitors want it) to hopefully provide a better user experience that way.

For all I wanted with the Inout Search Engine, I just couldn’t entertain the leap without the ability to micromanage the control of my results, but that changed when the Inout Scripts company introduced the Inout Spider. Yes, now I could do the very same thing with Inout Search that I currently do with Sphider, which is keep my results lean and laser targeted to what my site’s topic is all about.

I’d say the only thing keeping me from moving forward on this right now is time, but I can definitely see this one being in the cards for a future search engine website redesign project.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

disgruntled December 5, 2013 at 11:40 am

I purchased the inout ultimate search engine and it was a massive disappointment. We’ve since stop using it and they were very difficult to deal with when it came to bug fixes and install issues.

The biggest single issue is that all of the search APIs (Google, Bing, Yahoo) they use are now depreciated where it won’t work at all or has you on a serious call limit. It may work for low volume sites, but once you build up your traffic to even a few hundred daily visitors, you’ll get ‘no results’ as you hit your daily/monthly API limits — and it doesn’t take long unless you want to pay for API calls from each.

The core files are encrypted in case you need to make any changes, and while they insist that 97% of the files are open to edit… it’s the 3% of the source code that you really want to modify to make it work as you want.

The .htaccess is also a pain when making changes, they often overwrite files when you make a change via the admin panel and means that you have to go back and update other changes you made again. Not a huge deal, but still was a constant pain in the butt that cost us a lot of time.

Finally their support is completely frustrating, I guess you should presume the case when you work with an overseas company in India. Communication was constantly an issue when trying to explain problems we were having and then getting a response from them. They do get back to you, but really frustrating when the person on the other end can’t communicate clearly in English or send you back an obligatory response to get rid of you knowing they didn’t address the issue.

I bought the ultimate version with all the bells and whistles, I wish I didn’t now and don’t recommend this product to anyone out there that’s looking into their scripts. Huge waste of time, frustration and energy for a product that clearly didn’t deliver.

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