How To Choose A Search Engine Or Directory


Fields & File Types
If you want to search for... Choose...
Audio/Music AltaVista | Dogpile | Fazzle | | FtpFind | Genie Knows  | Ixquick| Mamma Researchville: Audio | Singingfish
Date last modified Google Advanced Search | HotBot Advanced Search
Domain/Site/URL AltaVista | AOL Advanced Search | Google Advanced Search | HotBot Advanced Search | Lycos Advanced Search | 
File Format AOL Advanced Search 
Geographic location HotBot Advanced Search 
Images AltaVista | The Amazing Picture Machine | Dogpile | Fazzle | Google Image Search | HotBot Advanced Search| Ixquick | Mamma | Picsearch 
Language AltaVista More Precision | AOL Advanced Search | Google Language Tools | HotBot Advanced Search | iBoogie | Lycos Advanced Search 
Multimedia & video AltaVista | Dogpile | Fazzle | HotBot Advanced Search| Mamma | Researchville: Video | Singingfish
Page Title/URL AOL Advanced Search | Google | HotBot Advanced Search
Programming Language/File Extension HotBot Advanced Search 
Search logic
If you want to use... Choose...
Boolean operators AltaVista | AllTheWeb Advanced Search | Dogpile | Google [OR only] | Ixquick | metaEUREKA | ProFusion
Full Boolean logic with parentheses
e.g., behavior and (cats or felines)
Implied Boolean Most search engines offer this option
Boolean logic using search form terminology Most advanced search options offer this, including:
AltaVista Advanced Web Search AOL Advanced Search | Google Advanced Search | HotBot Advanced Search | Lycos Advanced Search | MonkeySweat
Proximity searching Google [by default] | Ixquick
Search options
If you want.. Choose...
Alternative search terms SurfWax
A user fill-in search form AltaVista More Precision | Google Advanced Search | HotBot Advanced Search | metaEUREKA  | ProFusion Advanced | Virtual Learning Resources Center
Search for documents similar to those in existing results AltaVista | Google | ProFusion
Retrieve results on related searches AltaVista | Ixquick | Teoma
Truncation AltaVista | Ixquick 
Your search stated in plain English Ask Jeeves | Ithaki | Ixquick
Translation of pages retrieved as search results, or any text or Web page, to and from selected languages Babel Fish
An exact phrase within quotations Most search engines offer this option
An exact phrase from a template choice Many search templates offer this. For example: AllTheWeb Advanced Search | AltaVista More Precision | Fazzle | Google Advanced Search | MonkeySweat
Multiple search tools searched simultaneously with duplicate records removed Chubba | Clusty | CopernicFazzle | Ithaki | Ixquick | Mamma | MetaCrawler | ProFusion | SurfWax
Search Results
If you want... Choose...
Results based on linking, i.e., number of links from highly rated Web pages A9 | AltaVista | GoogleTeoma
Results based on popularity, i.e., selections by other searchers or rankings by engines/directories AOL Search | Ixquick | Teoma | ZapMeta
Results clustered by concept and/or type of site (a "horizontal" rather than a single vertical list of results) Accumo | AllThe Web | Clusty | Dogpile | iBoogie | Infonetware | metaEUREEKA | KartooMooter | TeomaVivisimo
Queries stored at the site and notification of new results Google Alert | Karnak | TracerLock
Queries stored by the search service for repeat searches Copernic
Specialty Searches
If you want to search... Choose...
The Deep Web (not generally covered by search spiders) Complete Planet | Direct Search | Google | | ProFusion | Search.Com 

[Many search engine sites offer deep Web searches. For example, see Ixquick and InfoGrid]

Files in FTP sites (text, software, etc.) | | Oth Net
News (multiple sources searched simultaneously) AlltheWeb: News | AltaVista - News | FindNews.orgNews Is Free | NewsNow | | Pandia Newsfinder | RocketNews | | The WorldNews Network
Usenet newsgroup postings Ithaki | Google Groups
Reference sources (dictionaries, encyclopedias, e-mail and address lookups, calculators, quotations, news, government info, statistics etc.)
Professionally maintained directories Academic InfoINFOMINE | Librarians' Index to the InternetVirtual Learning Resources Center | WWW Virtual Library |
Directories maintained by volunteers JoeAnt | Open Directory Project (DMOZ)
Copyright Information
Title:  How to choose a search engine
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