I haven’t yet found out what the new Second Life search engine is. It certainly isn’t based on Google Search Appliances (GSA), but I’m waiting to find out if the Lab is willing to reveal the technology being used.
In fact, it’s kind of nice, actually, at first blush. You don’t need the new project viewer to play with it, either.
The new search system is being served from http://vip.search-phx.secondlife.com/ (edit: or http://search-beta.secondlife.com/ – General-rated content only?). You’ll need to confirm a security exception with your browser to get to it (because the existing SSL certificate doesn’t cover this subdomain, apparently), which pretty much disallows using it in the 1.x series viewers’ internal browser, but works just fine in your regular Web browser.
From there, you’ll need to confirm access through Second Life’s openID server, and then you can go nuts with it.
It certainly seems effective, especially compared to using it within the viewer. Given a lot of screen real-estate for the results, you can work through a lot of returns very quickly.