A search engine that displays results from multiple search engines.
Spelling varies – metasearch or meta search.
Many, if not most, search destinations include results from a combination of sources, but not all are metasearch engines. In non-metasearch engines, there may be primary listings and secondary listings. The secondary listings serve as a backup to enhance the search coverage… or as a premium (paid) service to enhance the search engine’s revenue. These additional listings may or may not be clearly distinguished as being outside the primary results.
At a metasearch destination, the visitor is usually made aware of the fact that there are many sources of search information. Typically, no one source dominates, but there are several ways to display the results. Listings may be grouped by the source (i.e. Dogpile), scrambled from all the sources (i.e. Mamma), or clustered and ranked (i.e. Ixquick).
see also: SEO Tools
all-in-one search engine
ClickZ (January 2, 2002)
Getting Found by Metasearch
ClickZ (October 4, 2000)
Meta-Search Engines: When to Use and Not Use Them?
www.lib.berkeley.edu : MetaSearch (April 2000)