Web Searchers


 Search Engines  Multisearch Engines Directories
 Libraries
RCLS Internet Guides
This site, provided by the Rampopo Catskill Public Library System, has reviewed links to general search engines and topical web guides, as well as links to local information for their region of New York State.
Internet Research Sources - http://www.lib.utulsa.edu/guides/rsrch.htm
The place to go when you want access to a whole range of search possibilities. Choose from drop-down lists of Subject Directories (from About.Com to WWW Virtual Library); Search Engines (from Alta Vista to WebCrawler); Meta Search Engines (from All-In-One Search Page to WebInfo Search); and Specialized Search Engines (from AnthroNet to YUPI) (University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library)
Search Strategies - http://www.dushkin.com/online/on2.mhtml?SITE=%2Fonline%2Fwebresearch%2Fmainwr.mhtml&TITLE=Web+Research
"The Web is a fantastic research tool, but using it effectively takes practice and skill. It is easy to get lost or diverted from your research goals. Even worse, since anyone can put anything on the Web, it becomes important to be able to sort through information and evaluate its reliability. There are thousands of unreliable sources and biased Web sites on the Internet. They can be thinly veiled lies or small distortions of truth. Problems of privacy and precaution for computer viruses are all things you should know about before doing research online. We have assembled these excerpts from our book WebQuester, A Guidebook to the Web for your use. Each reading is followed by a research activity designed to teach you to put into practice the material that precedes it. Read one of the sections below and then try an activity. They are fun and you may discover you don't know as much about the Web as you thought you did!"
Search the Net: Your Top Search Resources
This is a terrific site to begin your Internet search although a bit hard to read because of the yellow on blue graphic design. Most of the text on this page comes from this site. "As chosen and reviewed by Tracy Marks, these are the top ten search engines, directories and libraries on the Internet, and twenty honorable mentions. Choices were made on the basis of (in order of priority): content, ease of use, and design. Withsearch engines, you enter search terms and retrieve (hopefully) a list of relevant documents or sites. With directories, you choose subject categories and subcategories related to your interest, and follow links to appropriate documents or sites. Onlinelibrariesare directories of directories, or of online databases and files. Usually, library collections are carefully chosen and evaluated by librarians who are concerned about the validity and quality of resources. Directories are your best choice for general browsing. However, if you have a specific goal, you may want to clarify your search terms and use search engines. If you are seeking documents, then directories and libraries which contain collections related to your specific interest may be most useful to you.
LLRX.com- http://www.llrx.com/index.htm
"LLRX.com is a unique, free Web journal dedicated to providing legal and library professionals with the most up-to-date information on a wide range of Internet research and technology-related issues, applications, resources and tools."

Search Engines

InfoSeek Ultraseek
Tracy Marks' highest rated search engine: "Infoseek's search engine is the most powerful, expansive and effective individual page search engine on the Internet. Indexing over one hundred million pages, it searches not only web sites, but also images, newsgroups, faqs, news, company profiles, phone numbers, and email addresses. Although not quite as large as AltaVista, Infoseek generally yields much more relevant results, with the most pertinent results appearing on the first page." Infoseek's advanced search form is not really advanced - in fact, it's the easiest search form available on the Internet for beginners. First you use the drop own menu to decide whether to search within a document, title or URL (Internet address); usually you will choose Document. Then, you choose whether or not the words you seek must, should or should not appear within the location in which you are searching; usually will choose must. Third, you choose whether or not you are searching for words, a name or a phrase. You may include several unrelated words in words; for phrase, you type a series of words which must appear together. Additional benefits of Infoseek include its News Center, which not only retrieves recent news stories, but also allows you to personalize the news you receive, and its large comprehensive subject directory of sites. The basicInfoseek Home Page is also useful. The basic Helpful Tips section gives you more information on formulating queries.
Alta Vista (Advanced)
The second of Tracy Marks' favorites searches every word of over 80,000 sites. "AltaVista gives you access to the largest Web index: over 250 million pages, and six million articles from 50,000 Usenet newsgroups. But ironically, the strengths of AltaVista - the massive number of pages that it indexes, and its full text search, contribute to the difficulties it creates. You will benefit most if you search for relatively obscure topics, use the advanced search, and carefully choose your search terms, sometimes using Boolean operators such as AND and OR. Otherwise, you may be overwhelmed with hundreds or thousands of irrelevant results. The advanced search of AltaVista differs from the basic search page primarily because it also gives you the ability to do Boolean searches. In the regular search form, which is on top of the advanced page, you want to be sure to use a + (plus) before search terms which must appear and a -(minus) before terms which must not appear, and to put quotation marks around works which must appear together. If you choose to use the Boolean search option, you will instead type AND, OR, NOT (or AND NOT) and NEAR (for words which must occur within ten words of each other, or a parentheses for those which must occur together). You will also want to list your most important keyword or keywords in the relevance ranking field within AltaVista's advanced form, in order to make sure that the results are listed in the order that is most relevant to you."
Northern Light
"The newcomer, Northern Light, is quickly becoming one of the most popular and effective search engines. Not only does it index more pages than AltaVista or Infoseek, it also offers several unique, additional features - customized organization of search results by category, and access (for a fee) to a database not otherwise accessible on the Web. Finally, Northern Light is highly successful in sorting results by relevance, as well as filtering out duplicate links. When searching, one can choose the Web, the Special Collection or both. The Special Collection is a unique database of over one million articles from 1800 books, magazines, journals, newspapers, pamphlets and newswires, covering a wide variety of subjects. Summaries of the articles are available for free, but most articles cost $1-$4 each (but have a no-hassle money-back guarantee). For most searchers, however, the most valuable feature of Northern Light is the manner in which Northern Light filters search results by relevance, after displaying the 25 most significant hits. The remaining results are organized into folders, according to subject (e.g. baseball, hypertension), type (e.g. maps, press releases), source (e.g. commercial web sites, magazine articles), and language. By choosing the most relevant folder, one can avoid time-consuming ferreting through hundreds of URLs. Within each folder, results that are not initially visible are also resorted into new search folders, also categorized. Northern Light's search procedure is relatively simple: use a number of keywords (the more specific the better), type a + before words that must be included, an OR between words when only one is required, NOT before words you wish to exclude, and quotes around a phrase. Searchers easily become habituated to familiar search engines and do not bother to try the others - especially the newcomers to the Net. Northern Light, however, should not be missed. Once you use it - as well as exceptional multisearch engines like Savvy Search and MetaCrawler, you will return again and again."

Multisearch Engines

Savvy Search
"Savvy Search is one [of] the two best multisearch engines on the Internet! Not only does it query nineteen search engines simultaneously (AltaVista, Excite, OpenText, HotBot, Infoseek, Lycos, WebCrawler and other top search engines, as well as DejaNews, Shareware.com, 411 People Finder, the Yellow Pages and other directories), it reveals the results in order of relevance, indicating which search engines contained which listings. If you check "integrate results," it removes duplicates, and provides a succinct summary of each of the findings."
MetaCrawler
"It doesn't try to search every site under the sun, yet MetaCrawler emerges as the best for querying multiple engines at once, because the sites it does search it searches well. You create your customized search page, and returns are well organized with duplicate returns eliminated." From a review in PC Magazine.
Excite Search
Generally a fast and easy to use Web searcher. Honorable mention from Tracy Marks. See also HotBot, using fast, parallel search technology, HotBot may be the quickest and most thorough search engine of all. Searches the full text of its entire Internet collection! Be sure to review the "Help" file for better use;Mamma Multisearch, the "Mother of all search engines." A new and powerful way to search the Internet. Note the option that allows you to search through newspapers for the subject of your choosing; Dogpile Multisearch, from this one Website you can search many powerful engines, with the results in one list; Inference Find, searches a number of other search engines, merges the results, removes redundancies, clusters the hits into neat groupings, and returns it quickly, recommended by the U.C. Berkeley Teaching Library;Profusion, from the University of Kansas, Highway 61 Multisearch, Internet Sleuth Database Search, Search Net Happenings, from the University of Wisconsin,Cnet's Search.com Multi-Search Page, a well-organized collection of search engines, with general and specialized
Yahoo! All-in-One Search Engines
This is Yahoo's entrance to the so-called all-in-one search engines. Includes many lesser-known engines not reviewed in "Search the Net."

Online Directories

Yahoo! Directory - http://dir.yahoo.com/
A favorite of Tracy Marks: "Are you looking for the top Web sites in a particular category? Yahoo is the premier subject directory on the Web, easy to navigate and comprehensive in its listings and additional features. Most useful for browsing, general searching and locating popular sites, rather than for specific or academic searching, Yahoo presents 14 broad categories (such as computers/ internet, news and media, regional, society and culture), on its home page, which link to a large number of subcategories arranged in hierarchical order. Although Yahoo includes an enormous number of web sites, it is not ideal for all Internet searching. It does not search the full text of each page, and it frequently lists duplicates. Yahoo also accepts all pages submitted to it (or located by it), and does not rate sites - although it does indicate ones which it most recommends. Yahoo's corporate disclaimer reads: 'Other than determining categorization of subject matter at time of listing, Yahoo makes no attempt to review the content of sites listed in the directory, and so Yahoo isn't responsible for the accuracy, copyright compliance, legality or decency of material contained in sites listed in the Yahoo directory.'"
Librarians' Index to the Internet - http://lii.org/
Selected and screened by (mainly) California librarians with libraries in mind. Over 11,000 sites indexed.
Infomine - http://infomine.ucr.edu/
Selected by California academic librarians (UC and other) with academic use in mind. Over 115,000 sites indexed.
Google Directory - http://directory.google.com/
Same pages as DMOZ/Open Directory Project with Google full-text searching and popularity ranking. Over 1.5 million sites indexed.
About.com - http://www.about.com/
Built by an international network of hundred of Guides who gather and organize subjects and write original content on topics. Over 1 million sites indexed.
AcademicInfo - http://www.academicinfo.net
Aimed at upper high school students and teachers. Useful for many academic topics. Browse works better than Search. Thousands of directories and key sites indexed.


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Updated by the Webspinner: May 28, 2003.
©2003 Tom Kaun, Library Media Teacher--Bessie Chin Library @ Redwood High School, 395 Doherty Drive, Larkspur, CA 94939 -- 415.945.3662