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Searchtools Strategy

 

Information NeedStrategy
Keyword search
Google
Keyword search with refinements
Excite , HotBot , FAST , SurfWax , AltaVista
Broad academic subject
Librarians'Index to the Internet, Infomine, NorthernLight, Encyclopedia Britannica, Encarta
Popular or Commercial Topic
Yahoo! , dmoz , Go
Subject Expert
About.com, WWWVirtualLibrary, ArgusClearinghouse, AlphaSearch
Pinpoint phrase search
AltaVista
Proper name, case sensitive
InfoSeek , AltaVista, HotBot
Biographical
Biography.com, BiographicalDictionary, Lives
Government
FirstGov
News
Yahoo! NewsNorthernLightCurrentNews, Moreover
Automatic Search
Informant, NorthernLightSearchAlertService
Almanac Information
InformationPlease, CIAWorldFactBook
Map
TIGERMapService, MapMachine, MapQuest

Search Engine Mathematics


Since search engines work on keywords, the words a user submits are going to be the most important criterion of what the engine returns. The submission of that key word, or group of words or phrase is crucial. The best tactic to use will depend on the nature of your search, and the capabilities of the engine you are submitting to.

The '+' sign is the most commonly used operator. It tells the search engine to produce only documents which contain all the words of your search. For instance if you were to submit 'vanilla + fudge + sundae', the engine would return only documents which had all of those words, as opposed to returning all articles with 'vanilla', all articles with 'fudge', and all articles referring to 'sundae', which would result from a submission of those words without the plusses.

The '-' sign, conversely, is a restrictor operator. The term 'vanilla +fudge -sundae' would return all articles referring to vanilla and fudge, but which did not mention sundae.

To get a specific phrase, enclose it in quotes. A submission of "100 years war" would return articles mentioning only that specific war.

Here's a table summarizing the math capabilities of the most popular search engines.

SearchTool
Match Any
Match All
Exclude
Include
Phrase
AOL Search
Menu
Auto
-
+
" "
AltaVista
Auto
+
-
+
" "
Ask Jeeves
 +
-
+
" "
Direct Hit  +
-
+
" "
Excite
Auto
+
-
+
" "
FAST Search
 +
-
+
" "
Go / Infoseek
Auto
+
-
+
" "
GoTo
Auto
+
-
+
" "
Google
No
Auto-
+
" "
HotBot
Menu
Auto
-
+
" "
IWon
 +
-
+
" "
Inktomi  +
-
+
" "
LookSmart
Auto
   " "
Lycos
Menu
Auto
-
+
" "
MSN SearchMenu
Auto
-
+
" "
NBCi
 +
-
+
" "
Netscape Search
Auto
+
-
+
" "
Northern Light
OR
Auto
-
+
" "
Open Directory
 +
-
+
" "
Raging Search
 +
-
+
" "
RealNames
  -
+
" "
WebCrawler
Auto
+
-
+
" "
Yahoo!
Auto
+
-
+
" "

SearchTools Introduction
SearchTools Tactics

 

 

 

Copyright © 2001 by Paladin Consultants,LLC
Chatham, NJ
All Rights Reserved
This page revised   May 23, 2006
 
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