Schell, M. (1997). How to search the internet. S. Hamilton, MA: Center for Youth Studies.
The Internet has become a place where information of all types is available to anyone who has a connection. This article is designed to help Internet users search for information in the quickest, most efficient way. There are many search engines available; each uses different criteria for their searches. There are also services available that do not search the Internet but search other resources for data.
In the computer world things are changing rapidly; there may be more options available to users for searching. It is even possible that there will be one way to consolidate the searches so that all searches are done with each engine simultaneously. Anything seems possible in this advancing world of technology.
Much of the information provided in this document was obtained through Netscape Net Search. Netscape Net Search has gathered information on all the search engines and provided it at its web site. If you have access, consider visiting this site for the most current information.
There are many search engines and web guides available on the Internet. This article describes some of the more common ones. If information on other search engines is needed, visit the Netscape Net Search web page for further details.
Most of the more popular "search engines" are actually web guides. That means that rather than looking for keyword matches on every page it has indexed, it finds category or site matches which find somewhat less specific information.
is a searchable directory of Web sites organized by subject into categories. Every day Yahoo! surfers add sites to the directory, deciding the best category for each and providing an intuitive, easy way to find what is needed.
Yahoo! uses three primary searches:
- Yahoo! categories. Yahoo! category matches can yield hundreds and thousands of relevant web sites, often further organized into helpful subcategories.
- Yahoo!-listed web sites. A Yahoo! web site match is listed within the category that contains it, allowing users to go directly to the site or click the category for a list of related sites. If not searching for something specific, the latter is the more helpful option.
- Alta Vista-indexed web pages. If Yahoo! does not find category or site matches in its directory, it points users to results provided by the Alta Vista search engine. Unlike a searchable directory, a search engine such as Alta Vista looks for keyword matches on every web page it has indexed, which is useful if looking for something extremely specific.
combines easy-to-use channels and state-of-the-art search to simplify the Web.
Offering a simple, guided approach for accessing information on the Web through the Excite Search Wizard, Excite Search suggests keywords to help produce accurate search results. And it understands plain English—which means that a user can easily find a resource on the Web.
Easy and fun, Excite can instantaneously deliver to a user’s desktop. Headline news, stock quotes, sports scores, and trends can quickly be accessed through the channels offered on Excite. Excite organizes, categorizes, and provides information in a simple, comprehensive format.
Infoseek has query tools and offers relevance ranking, question refinement to narrow search results, regular monitoring of the most popular sites to maintain up-to-date links, and filters that screen out dead links and duplicate responses. Infoseek can also be used to find out how many users link to one’s own web site.
LYCOSLycos uses the Lycos library of Web pages and multimedia files. The Lycos Pro custom search offers users hands-on control of how search results are entered, ranked, and viewed. Also, the unique Power Panel Java allows users to actually fine-tune relevancy ranking factors while viewing search results.
In addition to the renowned Lycos search and spidering technology, which encompasses more than 100 million URLs, the Lycos service offers 18 Webguides, where users can choose among such topics as news, sports, entertainment, autos, and business. Other Lycos navigational services include TOP 5%, a directory of Web site reviews; StockFind; PeopleFind; international city guides; road maps; GTE Yellow Pages; and Lycos/Dun & Bradstreet Companies Online. International sites are available in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
As for search engines, there are several available, two of which are mentioned below.
This search engine uses indexed Web pages. Unlike a searchable directory, a search engine such as Alta Vista looks for keyword matches on every Web page it has indexed; this is useful if a user is looking for something extremely specific.
And, of course, the mother of all search engines that are redefining how we organize, store and retrieve data.
WebCrawler helps users sift through lots of information by offering the most relevant search results. With WebCrawler, searches can be as simple or as advanced as desired. And searches can be sought in simple terms.
Using WebCrawler’s recently introduced Shortcuts feature (which offers a complete package of relevant results and recommendations), a search for hotels in New York provides not only a list of great Web sites but also direct links to a map of New York, lodging and travel guides, and the day’s New York weather. A search for Ford Taurus in St. Louis provides users direct links to a St. Louis map, classified listings of Ford Tauruses available in St. Louis, and direct links to Web sites related to Ford Taurus.
The search engines and web guides are available to anyone who has an Internet connection and who is browsing software. Netscape provides a direct link to these tools by just clicking on the NetSearch button.
OTHER SEARCH TOOLS
Other Internet tools allow users to search for data in different media. For example, libraries are available which allow users to search for information in their facilities. Listed below are some of the addresses of these sites.
THE ELECTRIC LIBRARY
The Electric Library makes it possible to conduct research over the Internet, using a deep database of reliable sources. With The Electric Library, any person can ask a question and launch a comprehensive, simultaneous search through more than 150 full-text newspapers, hundreds of full-text magazines, two international news wires, two thousand classic books, hundreds of maps, thousands of photographs, and major works of literature and art.
The Electric Library is an excellent resource for students and families to do research. The content is as safe as a local public library, and the information is always current. The Electric Library is updated daily via satellite.
DIALOG is a service of Knight-Ridder Information, Inc. Knight-Ridder Information’s World Wide Web server provides users an electronic version of DIALOG publications; helps select correct DIALOG databases; links to download its telecommunications software, DialogLink, with answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about DIALOG; information on the Custom DIALOG™ product, including Quickstart Applications; answers about its services, products, and commands; and how to sign-up for DIALOG and complete copies of the Knight-Ridder Information Service Agreement Form.
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The Library of Congress is known as an incredible resource. Its web page provides access and links to all kinds of information.
There are also some other search services available on the net. There are White and Yellow Pages which allow users to find e-mail addresses or specific businesses. There are also topic-specific services for such needs as finding apartments for rent or automobile services. Once again, links to these sites can be found at
Netscape Net Search.
Mariann Schell cCYS