Searching the Internet
All search engines are not created equal. No single engine can index the entire web. To add insult to injury the most popular search engine, http://www.yahoo.com is not a search engine but a directory.
The main ways to search the web are
Search engines--keyword that triggers the index of sites that have been compiled by a program known as a worm. Top search engines include: AltaVista, HotBot, Excite, Lycos, InfoSeek. Search engines that search other search engines are called metasearch engines. Examples of these are Beaucoup, WebCrawler, Dogpile.
Directory--man-made list of links that are sorted by topic and stored in a huge computer. These also can be accessed through keyword searches. Examples of directories include: Yahoo, Education-World, Magellan Internet guide (www.mckinley.com), The Awesome Library (www.near-schoolhouse.org/awesome.html)
No directory or search engine is perfect. Search engines catalog based on frequency counts for words on selected sites. These become the keywords under which the site is indexed. Unscrupulous webmasters frequently use words that will trigger the engine to index the site even though it has nothing to do with a logical search on the keyword.
Again all search engines are not equal. Never rely on one search engine only. A comprehensive search would result from using several search engines and directories.
Tricks of Searching
AND (+) - only returns pages with both terms on them, this limits the search.
OR- returns every page with either term, this broadens the search.
NOT (-) - returns the pages with one and not the other term on them, this limits the search.
Where can I go for more information?
Search Engine Watch
There are specialized engines that focus on small subsets of information found on the web.
WhoWhere (www.whowhere.lycos.com) address and phone numbers
Yahoo 411 (www.four11.com) people search
Research-It! (www.itools.com/research-it/research-it.html) searchable dictionaries, thesauruses, quotation databases, area codes, 800-number directories, global currency converter, FedEx package tracking and more for free.
Shareware (www.shareware.com) shareware programs
CNET (www.download.com) search libraries of public domain software and shareware
|This page was updated on: 04/10/02|