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Search Engines and Directories


Search Engine -- A program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. Although search engine is really a general class of programs, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Alta Vista and Excite that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web ...

(definition courtesy of www.webopedia.com )



How to perform a subject or keyword search.

 There are many ways to start a subject or keyword search:

1)     type a word or phrase in the address/location bar (uses the browser’s default search engine, but does not work on all browsers or computers)

2)     click on the search button of your browser and type the word or phrase in the text box that is provided.  NOTE: Internet Explorer will default to the MSN search engine; Netscape will give you a choice of popular search engines.

3)     bring up a list of search engines such as this page or  www.hotsheet.com and choose the search engine you prefer.  Type the word or phrase in the appropriate text box.

4)     Type in the address of the search engine or portal that you prefer, such as www.yahoo.com or www.excite.com.  Type the word or phrase in the appropriate text box.





Advanced Searching

 What you search for is not always what you get!  It is very  easy to get sidetracked, when looking up a certain subject, by looking at other interesting things that are listed that have nothing to do with what you want.  

Different search engines use different search methods.  Some search the whole page/article.  Some search only the WWW address and the title of the page.   If you don’t find what you are looking for, try another engine or try putting in the search words differently.   

Also, the searching conventions are slightly different with different engines.  Some have boxes to check to specify whether the words should be searched as a phrase, some use quotes;  if two words are put in the blank, some automatically search for pages with both, some search for either.  The best teaching tool here is experimentation and repetition.  


Popular Search Engines


Alta Vista

Ask Jeeves

Dogpile *


All the Web







MetaCrawler *

Turbo10 *

Vivisimo *


* Meta Search Engine - searches multiple search engines



Fayette County Public Libraries
531 Summit Street
Oak Hill, WV 25901
ph:  304-465-0121
fax: 304-465-5306

These Pages maintained by:
Brenda Moore, Extension Librarian