Surf Canyon: Using search engines just got easier

You have a final project due on interracial marriages; you need to do some research so you go to Google.com and type in “interracial marriages”. You find a link that you think may be relevant to your research and you click on it. The page is not bad but you need more sources than just that one. So you go back and look through 5 more websites – all 5 suck and are irrelevant. With millions of results appearing for your search query this is bound to happen – over and over. Surf Canyon is attempting to change that.

Surf Canyon is a Firefox and Internet Explorer extension/plugin that helps reduce the tedious task of trying to find relevant results from a search engine (Surf Canyon works with Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live Search, Craigslist, and Lexis Web). Next to every search result, a little bullseye is placed. When you click on the bullseye Surf Canyon suggests websites that are similar to the parent search result; websites that may interest you. As you use Surf Canyon more, the more it learns about your searching habits and the better suggestions it gives.

After you install Surf Canyon, you can customize your settings, changing things like your “preferred” or “disliked” websites, enabling/disabling Surf Canyon for a specific search engine, or changing the amount of recommendations Surf Canyon gives you.

My explanation does not give justice to what this program can do. View this demo video created by the developer to gain a better understanding:

2009-05-02_224506

You must click on the video to start viewing it. If you are unable to click on the video that means you have JavaScript disabled – click here if that is you.

There is one small bug that I am experiencing on Firefox (it may just be me). With Surf Canyon enabled when I try to hit “Next” to go to next page on Google it does not work properly. However if I click on a page number it works just fine. The bug is annoying but forgivable in my opinion – it does not break the program for me.

All things considered, Surf Canyon is a handy program if I do say so myself. If you agree, you can download Surf Canyon from the following link:

Click here to get Surf Canyon.

***Update***

If you have any problems with Surf Canyon, drop the developers an email – they seem very eager to help out. Special thanks to Mark for coming here and assisting to the best of his ability.

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13 comments

  1. Jeffinprov

    It may be worth noting as an update that Surf Canyon also functions as an extension to Chrome. In playing around with it a little, I think it may take some getting used to; nevertheless I’m having fun with it. Thanks for the heads-up on this one.

  2. Janet

    Ashraf–You’re an angel (once again…)….:-)…

    1. When IE 7 came out, so many people were having problems that I didn’t update….Didn’t realize IE8 came out…:-)…So is IE7 OK now? I didn’t consider Firefox because it doesn’t work with many (all?) Hebrew sites, and until I get a new computer, I don’t have space for both. What is the best way to upgrade IE6 AND GET RID OF ALL UNNECESSARY OLD FILES (a lot of presently in-use files use IE5 folders–e.g., Temp files!) WITHOUT LOSING History and Favorites?? Also, does an Uninstall nowadays still remove my OE6? I have many important folders there(also addressbook, rules, etc.). Keeping my data from IE and OE is perhaps the main reason I steered clear of updating–it always seemed so complicated. Also having to set up everything from scratch on OE.

    2. Your advice regarding JavaRa was priceless! One question: Now RevoUn. only lists Java6 – Update 13 without an additional listing for Java Runtime Environment as before. Have they been combined into a single-program entry nowadays?

    Thanks so much!
    Janet

  3. Mark Cramer

    @Kinetix – The application is intended to produce recommendations (extra results) whenever you either select a result or click a bull’s eye. This behavior can be controlled on my.SurfCanyon.com.

    I don’t, however, understand why clicking the bull’s eye didn’t do anything. Perhaps there’s something on your machine that might be “blocking” the function. If you wouldn’t mind contacting us (http://www.surfcanyon.com/contact.jsp) we’d appreciate a hand figuring it out. Thank you.

  4. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    Kinetix,
    I believe Surf Canyon uses AJAX to display its results. I am not sure if disabling JavaScript would disable AJAX (I believe it would) but if you have JavaScript disabled then enable it and try.

    Okay so you don’t need JS for AJAX… stupid me.

  5. Kinetix

    I tried Surf Canyon a couple weeks ago and had some problems with it. When I clicked on the little Surf Canyon button next to results, nothing popped up, and during some searches it just brought up extra results without being asked (not sure if that last one is an intended feature).

  6. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Janet

    Oh IE6? You really should upgrade to either Firefox or IE8. If you don’t want to venture into the latest IE (Microsoft is known for instabilities early on), at least get IE7. However if you don’t want to upgrade, http://gsaauctions.gov/brow_details/IE6instr.htm will show you how to enable/disable JS in IE6.

    Also, no you don’t need the older updates. I suggest you download JavaRa to scan you computer and uninstall necessary versions of Java.

    As for where they are stored – aren’t they just under a “Java” folder in “Program Files”? If not then I have no idea.

  7. Mark Cramer

    Thank you, Ashraf, for the complimentary review! We’re thrilled that you’re enjoying the application that we’ve spent over 3 years building.

    As for clicking the “Next” button, that should work exactly like clicking “2”, or whatever the next page is. If you wouldn’t mind sending me an email, perhaps we can dig into this and debug this one with you.

    Thank you again! We welcome any additional feedback you, or anyone else, might have.

  8. janet

    I see the Java files Uninstall String are in MsiExec.exe/I{…}(wherever that is….). They all (4) have different identities (the two digits at end are different).

    Janet

  9. Janet

    Hi Ashraf!

    I have IE6 and XP Pro. I usually have no problems viewing videos, so it would be nice if one could enable/disenable easily for the rare cases where needed….

    According to RevoUninstaller I have
    Java 6 Update 2 v. 1.6.0.20 at 133MB as well as
    Java 6 Update 3 v. 1.6.0.30 also at 133MB
    Do I need both?

    Also have
    Java SE Runtime Enviornment6 v.1.6.0.0 at 109MB as well as
    Java SE Runtime Enviornment6 Update v.1.6.0.10 at 160MB
    Do I need both?

    Where are these files stored? I have an old computer with a very small C: so I try to keep off anything that doesn’t have to be there (all personal files and all GOAT and DotTech apps are on external drive).

    Many many thanks!
    Janet

  10. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    Janet,

    Unless you specifically disabled JS, it should be enabled. But it seems you don’t have it enabled. First you need to tell me what browser you are on.
    Also, is it possible for scum to hurt your computer via JavaScript? Yes it is. However is it something you should worry about? Nah, not really.