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Surfing Toolkit
Search Techniques and Tools - Part 2
Meta-Search and Specialized Search Engines

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Searching Meta-Search Search Aids Off-Line

MetaSearch Engines

A range of web sites offer you the chance to send your simple query to a range of search engines at the same time. This is good because you get to see a lot of responses from different databases at the same time. You can choose to see many more than the usual 10 results per page, and duplicate pages are normally removed Usually, your search query must be kept simple, as it will be sent to a range of search engines with different syntax requirements. In the near future it should be possible for this type of program to translate your query into the correct format for each search engine. The programs should remove duplicate addresses and could also remove identical files. Examples of this type of search option are,

MetaCrawler provides a straight forward interface for a simple or power search of the main search engines. It produces a simple list of results with summaries. Easy to use.

DogPile repays time taken to customize it. It searches three engines at a time but these can be chosen in advance. The search can be continued to three more engines if satisfactory results are not achieved. The available engines allow the searching of newsgroups as well as web pages.

  • All4one metasearch page - combining the power of all the worlds best search engines into one. Now with a "Grouping" feature, so you can quickly zero in on the results you want!
  • This is obviously an area of great activity as many examples of this type are coming out all the time, and many have fallen by the wayside.

    It is important to remember that the query is at least as important as the database. These sites are good for quick specific search queries. Detailed enquiries ought to be done on the main engines using advanced query techniques.

    Searching Newsgroups

    DejaNews is the major specialized engine for searching newsgroups. This database gives access to topical information on a huge range of subjects submitted from many countries. Items can also be posted to the newsgroups. The major web search engines can also search this archive.

    Reference.Com can search both newsgroups and mailing lists.

    Current News Searching

    Most of the main search engines offer the option to search current news items which are too recent and dynamic to be found in the web site searches. The stories come from Reuters, AP, and newspaper archives. Most are free. In addition services like Excite News Tracker and NewsPage can watch out for news items which fit your brief, and also will improve the brief as you use them.

    Collections of Specialized Search Resources

    There are lots of web pages giving links to many other search resources for business, people, news, dictionaries, ... etc. Some of the better ones are

    C-Net Search.Com

    Beaucoup

    Virtual Search Engines




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    Roger Trobridge, The Internet Gopher, gopher@internet-gopher.com
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