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Press Room: Press Coverage

All-in-one search tool
by Zam Karim

Tuesday• April 26, 2005
The Star

Somtimes searching for something using a single search engine just isn’t enough.  

To get better results, you could try searching using multiple search engines. However, this is a time-consuming process which involves surfing to several sites. 

A search site like Dogpile.com might make it easier for you. With one search, you will get the results from the most popular engines simultaneously. It also gives you the “best combined” results. 

However, if you want to be more selective and get information from each search engine, then perhaps you should surf over to TurboScout. 

It offers a search tool for users who prefer to get and review original results from various engines, rather than leaving it to the aggregators/ meta-crawlers to compile for them, said TurboScout founder William Chee, a 21-year-old Singaporean undergraduate who is now undergoing national service for his country. 

“This new search tool allows Internet users to access and compare original results from over 90 search engines across seven categories on a single webpage,” he said. 

Users who visit the site only need to enter the search term once, and then choose which search engine to use. When the results are returned, users can then just click on another search site’s name to see the results from that site. 

Besides that, users can also search for images, reference, news, products, blogs and audio/video using the same method. 

“No more retyping keywords into different search engines,” said Chee. 

According to him, users can easily compare original search results from various search engines using TurboScout. This ensures they have made an extensive and thorough search on the Internet. It also provides an opportunity for search engines to convince the searchers of their relevancy in search results. 

According to research done by Nielsen//NetRatings, the majority of Internet surfers use multiple search engines to compare results from search engines like Google, Yahoo!, MSN Search and Ask Jeeves. This is because different search engines use different ranking methods and thus no single search engine can give users exactly what they are looking for. 

In the beginning

Frustrated at having to key in search terms again and again when using multiple search engines, Chee decided to develop a system that would put an end to this tedious process. 

The concept of TurboScout came about in June last year albeit as a tool for personal use. 

“When I shared the tool with some friends, they found it very useful. That encouraged me to develop it further and eventually TurboScout was developed,” he said. 

Chee started working more seriously on TurboScout last November. 

His biggest problem was time, or the lack of it, seeing as he could only work on his project in the evenings and on weekends. 

“I have spent most of my leisure time developing TurboScout, often sacrificing sleep,” he said. 

Chee also did this without any formal technical training or background in programming. 

Complementary

Seeing TurboScout as an ally rather than competitor to search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN Search and Ask Jeeves, Chee said it will drive more traffic to these sites. 

“TurboScout makes searching various search engines so quick and easy that users will want to perform more searches. 

He has even made it possible for users to customise their browsers so that TurboScout loads together with their favourite website. This way, users can have all the benefits of TurboScout while still accessing their favourite site. 

Another feature is a Mozilla Firefox extension which allows users to add a TurboScout search box within the browser. 

Chee hopes to make TurboScout the preferred service for people searching for anything on the Internet.  

“I’ve designed it to be simple, fast and user-friendly, which I believe makes it a cut above the rest,” he said. 

This young man believes it is more important to make TurboScout useful and beneficial to users. How to make a profit from this is something he’ll consider later.

Since its launch in February, TurboScout has attracted more than one million hits from over 90 countries. 

A Constant high-achiever

Since he was small, William Chee has been interested in innovation and technology. He studied at the Chinese High School and Hwa Chong Junior College – both of which are among Singapore’s top education institutions. He will be pursuing his bachelor’s degree in accountancy at Nanyang Technological University in July.  

He scored straight-As for all his 10 subjects and five subjects in the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ Level examinations respectively.  

For his excellent performance, he was awarded several bond-free scholarships from high school to university by Singapore’s Ministry of Education, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and the Nanyang Technological University.  

Recently, he even represented Singapore’s Ministry of Defence in the Innovation & Quality Circles (IQC) Carnival organised by the Standards, Productivity and Innovation Board of Singapore, where he helped clinch a Gold Award. 

In addition to excelling in academic studies and leadership, Chee has also developed a keen interest and passion in innovation and entrepreneurship.

   

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