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Search Engines | Directories | Mega | Meta (17) | Kids Search | Subject Guides | Hybrid (6) | Invisible Web (13) | Specialty (57) | News Search
Below the Index are descriptions of the search services in this directory, Click on Headings (large links) below for directory listing or use NavBar to left.
Search Services Index (254)

Directories  (15)

Games (10)

Hybrid (6)

Image (18)

Invisible Web (12)

Kid Safe (31)

Mega (9)

Meta (18)

News Search (52)

Search Engines (14)

Specialty (45) (See Navigation Bar - Left)

Subject Guides (24)

Search Engines


Crawler-based search engines have three major elements:

First is the spider (also called the robot or crawler). The crawler (spider) visits a web page, reads it, and then follows links to other pages within the site. This is what it means when someone refers to a site being "spidered" or "crawled." The spider returns to the site on a regular basis, such as every month or two, to look for changes.

Everything the spider finds goes into the Second part of the search engine, the index. The index, sometimes called the catalog, is like a giant book containing a copy of every web page that the spider finds. If a web page changes, then this book is updated with the new information the next time the spider crawls the site.

Search engine software is the Third part of a search engine. This is the program that sifts through the millions (or billions if using Google) of pages recorded in the index to find matches to a search and rank them in order of what it believes is most relevant. This is the part you use to perform a search at a search serivce.

Each search engine uses its own set of criteria to decide what to include in its database. For example, some search engines index each page in a web site, while others index only the main page, and others may index the first few hundred words of text on a page. Users search this database by typing in some text and submitting it (clicking the "search" button).

Sometimes it can take a while for new pages or changes that the spider finds to be added to the index. Thus, a web page may have been "spidered" but not yet "indexed." Until it is indexed -- added to the index -- it is not available to those searching with the search engine.

All crawler-based search engines have the basic parts described above, but there are differences in how these parts are tuned. That is why the same search on different search engines often produces different results.

Directories

Directories are often confused with search engines, but actually they're completely different. Instead of using spiders to crawl the web, directories such as Yahoo!, LookSmart and Open Directory Project have real people who review and index their links. They also require web sites to adhere to rigid guidelines in order to be included in their indexes. As a result, directories' indexes tend to contain a comparatively small number of high-quality links.

The factors that influence search engine rankings simply don't apply to directory rankings. Instead, directory editors look at the quality of a site: its functionality, content and design. That means that webmasters hoping to see their sites listed on directories have to use very different strategies than for search engine placement.


Mega Search Services

Mega search services are basically collections of search boxes. Sometimes there can be several search boxes on the same page. These search boxes can be helpful at times, but don't forget other features or menus the search service may offer from its home page.

Meta Search Services

Meta-search engines do not have their own databases or indexes. Instead they send queries simultaneously to multiple Web search engines and/or Web directories. Most meta-search engines default to the major search engines, such as AltaVista, Excite, and Lycos.

Kids Search Services

The services listed on this page are designed primarily to serve the needs of children, either in focus, or by filtering out sites that some parents and teachers might find inappropriate for kids. These filtered sites usually include sites that deal with explicit sexual matters, gambling and drug use, porn sites, violence, hate speech.

The directories and Guides listed are kid-safe - human beings are used to filter out sites that might be considered objectionable for viewing by children.

The search engines listed allow you to search the entire web rather than just through a handpicked selection of kid-safe sites. Results are then filtered to remove possibly objectionable material.

Subject Guides

Subject Guides, sometimes called Gateway Pages, are web pages with several links (sometimes hundreds) covering a subject area or discipline or field, usually done by an expert in the field. They almost always break the research into categories that make it easier for you to see what kinds of resources are out there. Sometimes they use the classic subdivision of the discipline, sometimes they follow the formats in which information is found, and sometimes they use a unique organization developed by the expert. The intention always is to share with you some ways to "get a handle on" the web resources in the field. Finding gateway pages, like finding specialized searchable databases, can be like striking gold and should always find a place in your search strategy on a general topic or area of interest.

There are several specialized directories or guides to these kinds of pages compiled by experts. The selection offered here has overlaps. A lot of the same pages appear in more than one directory of guides, because the pages are worth it, useful. Some of the directories are from libraries, others from non-profit organizations, and others from individuals. A couple are commercial and have advertisements and a lot of other stuff.


Hybrid Search Engines

Hybrid search engines combine a directory with a search engine to give their visitors the most relevant and complete results. Today the top ten search sites are hybrids. For example, Yahoo! started out as a directory, but now it supplements its manually compiled listings with search results from Google, a search engine. On the other hand, Google uses The Open Directory to enrich its automatically generated listings.

Usually, a hybrid search engine will favor one type of listings over another. For example, Yahoo is more likely to present human-powered listings. However, it does also present crawler-based results (as provided by Google), especially for more obscure queries.


Invisible (Deep) Web Search Engines

If you are new to the Invisible (DeepWeb) web, BrightPlanets 41-page "Deep Web" White Paper on the deep Web is a good place to start. They claim to have made the "first-ever study" of the invisible web and describe it's nature, the importance of its size and quality. Sections of the white paper deal with study methodology, findings, and implications.


They claim the invisible (deep) web is "a vast reservoir of Internet content that is 500 times larger than the known "surface" World Wide Web....."


News Search Services

The Web is a rich source for current local, national, international news. There are hundreds of individual news sites on the Web, from broadcast sources such as ABC or NBC to newspapers including the Dallas Morning News and the New York Times. There are several search engines which cover multiple news sites and news wires. This page lists some of these search engines.

Specialty Search Services

If you are looking for news you should use a news search engine. Looking for Cheat Codes? Try a cheat codes search engine. For the woman there is feminist search and for the ailing Poodle try an animal search engine.


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Build Date: Feburary 15, 2001
Last Updated: April 22, 2009