Searching the Web

Which search tool should I use?
 

Types of Search Tool:

Examples:

Directories
Directories list web sites that have been categorized and reviewed by people.  The listings are smaller than those created by search engines; however, they often provide better results because of the human role.

About
Yahoo

 

Search Engines (a.k.a. Indexes) 
These indexes are created by software programs. They index all the content they find and then create a database that you can search.  Many times, search engines are useful when searching for a specific name or title.

Altavista
Excite
Google
HotBot

Meta-search Engines
Meta-search engines let you build a single search and then apply that query to multiple sites simultaneously.

Ask Jeeves
Dogpile
MetaCrawler
Search.com

Search tools in bold are very popular.
 

Advanced Search Tips*

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Use Boolean operators (OR, AND, NOT) in your searches.  Parentheses can be used to group terms.   For example:  Simpson NOT (Homer OR Marge OR Lisa OR Bart OR Maggie)

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Use wildcards (*)  where allowed.  For example: surg* would find documents on surgery, surgeries, surgical, etc.

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Try required terms (+) and prohibited terms (-) operators.  For example: +football -rugby -soccer

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Enter terms you wish considered as a phrase in double quotes.  For example: "Gettysburg Address"

*Not all search tools support the advanced search features recommended here.  Check the individual help pages of sites to determine search capabilities. 

Last revised: 12/10/03