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Advanced Search Engine Tactics


Some engines, in addition to the '+' sign recognize the Boolean AND command (Match All). Some engines allow the Boolean OR command to produce articles which match any of the submitted terms (Match Any). In some cases these require additional parameters from the search engine's menu. In most cases the engines allow nesting of the terms using parenthesis.

Some engines allow searching within the title of a web page. And some allow you to submit the documents to a specific site. Some allow searches of just an URL. Finally, some engines allow you to search for all pages linking to a particular page, or domain.

Several engines allow you to pursue a wildcard strategy. This is a good tactic to use to include plurals, or if you are unsure of the spelling of a term.

A few engines allow additional commands which are more powerful in focusing the search. These include AltaVista, Go, Lycos, NorthernLight, and the Inktomi engines HotBot, MSNSearch, and Snap). And some produce with articles a feature which allows the user to see similar pages. This last feature can be particularly powerful.

Here's a summary of the more advanced capabilities of the more popular search engines.

SearchTool
Title
Site
URL
Wild-card
Near
Nest
Or
And
Not
AOL Search
N
N
N
*
Near
()
Y
Y
Y
AltaVistatitle:
host:
url:
*
Near
()Y
Y
Y
Ask Jeeves
     ()Y
Y
Y
Direct Hit
     ()Y
YY
Excite
N
N
N
N
 ()Y
Y
Y
FAST Search
     ()Y
Y
Y
Go / Infoseek site:
url:N
 ()N
N
N
GoTo
title:
domain:
N
N
 N
Y
Y
Y
Google
N
N
N
N
 N
N
N
N
HotBot
title:
domain:
N
*
 ()Y
Y
Y
IWon
     ()Y
Y
Y
Inktomi
     ()Y
Y
Y
LookSmart
N
N
N
N
 N
N
N
N
Lycos
Menu
Menu Menu
N
Near
()Y
Y
Y
MSN Search
title:
domain:
N
*
Near
()Y
Y
Y
NBCi
     ()Y
Y
Y
Netscape Search
N
N
N
  ()Y
Y
Y
Northern Light
title:
 url:*
 ()Y
Y
Y
Open Directory
     ()Y
Y
Y
Raging Search
     ()Y
Y
Y
RealNames
     ()Y
Y
Y
WebCrawler
N
N
N
N
Near
()Y
Y
Y
Yahoo
title:
N
url:*
 N
N
N
N
SearchTool
Related Searches
Cluster
Find Similar
Search Within
Phrase Search
Advanced Search
AOL SearchY
 Y
  Y
AltaVista Y
Y
  Y
Y
Ask Jeeves       
Direct Hit      
Excite Y
   Y
FAST Search      
 Go / Infoseek Y
Y
 Y
 
GoToY
Y
    
 Google Y
Y
 Y
 
 HotBotY
Y
 Y
 Y
 IWonY
Y
   Y
 Inktomi      
 LookSmart       
 Lycos   Y
 Y
 MSN Search Y
   Y
 NBCi      
Netscape Search      
Northern Light Y
   Y
Open Directory       
Raging Search      
RealNames      
WebCrawler      
Yahoo!      Y

SearchTools Introduction
SearchTools Strategy

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Chatham, NJ
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This page revised   May 23, 2006