Searching the Internet   1 comment

So we need to find some information on the Internet, how do we know what to search with?  Most of us simply input the initial search query into our search bar in our browser and leave it at that.  If we want to be a little more specific, we need to include not only search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc, but also directories such as Yahoo!’s which is one of the best.  For an even wider range of results, use a metasearch engine such as Dogpile which gathers results from multiple search engines for maximum hits.

Search Engines

 How different are the three top search engines anyway?  The differences begin right with the home page.  Yahoo, which is trying to not only be a search engine but a web portal has a much busier home page. The other two are much cleaner. If searching for multimedia, I have to give the nod to Bing. The videos returned can be previewed simply by hovering over them. When searching for maps, Google is the best, in my opinion.  Web search engine preference depends on what one is looking for. I have all three enabled in my browser and know which one gives me the results I want for the category I need. Bottom line is one just isn’t efficient enough, you need to be able to use multiple search engines to get the results desired.

Metasearch Engines

Dogpile is my favorite and I use it when I am not getting the results I need from my “default” search engine. is another one that is quite popular and provides good results.  When using a metasearch engine, the results also indicate which search engine provided the results.

Web Bibliographies

Web bibliographies are often overlooked by the casual user but can be very powerful.  Web bibliographies can be very specific such as Martindale’s Reference Desk which emphasizes science-related links or very wide like the Librarian’s Index to the Internet which is a general reference. The Librarian’s Index has been merged with the IPL to form IPL2 which is still a general index but uses the two most powerful.

Web Directories

Web directories are lists of hyperlinks that are organized in a hierarchical tree.  The hyperlinks in a web directory are pre-added and do not get added dynamically as search results from a search engine are.  In order to use a web directory efficiently, the user must know what category to look in.  Looking in the wrong category can waste time and cause the user to follow many hyperlinks before discovering they are in the wrong category.  Yahoo is one of the oldest and best web directories.


Posted December 4, 2010 by jcorbintcl

One response to “Searching the Internet

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  1. Pingback: Finding What You Need « James Corbin

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