Refinements are suggested query reformulations based on your query and Surf Canyon’s real-time model of your inferred intent. In a sense, Refinements are personalized reformulations targeted to your “at the moment” information need. Furthermore, these links will send you to a search page where the results are already re-ranked, facilitating once again the process of finding what you need. The display of Refinements can be controlled under the Settings tab on my.SurfCanyon.com.
For users of our Firefox add-on, we have also introduced an on/off button in the right-hand corner of the Status Bar at the bottom of the browser. Clicking the button will quickly disable and re-enable Surf Canyon’s re-ranking
Lastly, we’d like to recommend that our users check out samfind Bookmarks Bar. This fully loaded Bar has a bit of social, search and RSS in it, is unobtrusive when not being used and has received excellent reviews from PC Magazine and PC World. Surf Canyon is also one of the default search engines. You might want to give it a try. Enjoy!
Update (5/3/2009) – Ashraf at dotTech.org posted a complimentary piece entitled “Surf Canyon: Using search engines just got easier.”
“… some browser extensions can really help streamline online searching. One of the best extensions for this is Surf Canyon… It’s only a tiny 33K extension, but it can be a great help in steering you quickly to the most relevant information on any search topic.
… Surf Canyon includes several useful features… The most useful of these is a new top-of-page collection of search refinement suggestions… The extension is smart enough [for example] to know that dolphins are intelligent, and that I may be interested in this aspect of them, and it also draws a relationship between dolphins and whales, in addition to other connections it makes.”