Clusty - The Clustering Search Engine has returned. It's not unusual for a search engine to go under - it's all too frequent infact, but they don't often return. However, here's one that has. The search engine that specialises in clustering results has returned from the search engine bit bucket. It had a long and reasonable life, but last year it was taken over and rebadged as Yippy, with a very definate American family friendly nature to it. There is obviously still a very close link between the two, since the 'about' link at Clusty takes you directly to Yippy. However, having done a few 'adult' searches I can confirm that the results are very different to those that you get with Yippy.
If you've never tried Clusty I would suggest that you give it a go. Basically it will return a list of sites for you, as per normal, but down the left hand side of the screen you'll get a listing of 'clusters' (hence the name) which allow you to view your subject in different ways. A search for 'libraries' will get you clusters on Council, Virtual, Public, Ebooks and so on. Some of these can be further expanded to focus your search even more closely. There is a 'Sources' tab that you can use to focus on types or resource as well, such as the Open Directory, though this is rather limited, and again has a tie in with Yippy. A further tab allows users to filter via TLD (Top Level Domain), such as .com or .gov.uk for example, while a final tab allows for a 'time' limitation.
Clusty has an advanced search function, which is none too exciting, but does provide uses with the opportunity to limit the number of results - unlike many engines it pulls back a total of 200 results, but this can be increased to 500. There are separate tabs for News, Images, Maps, Blogs, Wikipedia, Jobs, Shopping and Gov.
It's a good little search engine, and while it doesn't have the reach or the functionality of some of its bigger cousins, the clustering option may be a useful way of working with an enquirer to focus a search, or for those times when you're not really sure where to start. I'd also suggest that it's a good tool to use with schoolchildren, since it can help them learn the distinctions between subject areas.