AltaVista is consistently one of the largest search engines on the web,
in terms of pages indexed. Its comprehensive coverage and wide range of
power searching commands makes it a particular favorite among
researchers. It also offers a number of features designed to appeal to
basic users, such as "Ask AltaVista" results, which come from
Ask (see below), and directory listings from LookSmart.
Ask (formerly Ask Jeeves) is a human-powered search service that aims to direct you to
the exact page that answers your question. If it fails to find a match
within its own database, then it will provide matching web pages from
various search engines.
Excite is one of the most popular search services on the web. It offers
a medium-sized index and integrates non-web material such as company
information and sports scores into its results, when appropriate.
Formerly called All The Web, FAST Search aims to index the entire web.
It was the first search engine to break the 200 million web page index
milestone. It offers portal features such as personalization and free
e-mail, plus the search capabilities of the former Infoseek search
service, which has now been folded into Go. Searchers will find that Go
consistently provides quality results in response to many general and
broad searches, thanks to its ESP search algorithm. It also has an
impressive human-compiled directory of web sites.
Google is a search engine that makes heavy use of link popularity as a
primary way to rank web sites. This can be especially helpful in finding
good sites in response to general searches such as "cars" and
"travel," because users across the web have in essence voted
for good sites by linking to them.
Like AltaVista, HotBot is another favorite among researchers due to its
large index of the web and many power searching features.
Live Search is Microsoft's web search engine and
replaces MSN search and Windows Live Search. Live Search has the
ability to view additional search results on the same web page (instead
of needing to click through to subsequent search result pages) and the
ability to dynamically adjust the amount of information displayed for
Lycos started out as a search engine, depending on listings that came
from spidering the web. In April 1999, it shifted to a directory model
similar to Yahoo. Its main listings come from the Open Directory
project, and then secondary results come from spidering the web. Lycos
also feature another directory of web sites called Lycos Community
The RealNames system is meant to be an easier-to-use alternative to the
current web site addressing system. Those with RealNames-enabled
browsers can enter a word like "Nike" to reach the Nike web
site. To date, RealNames has had its biggest success through search
engine partnerships. In particular, it is strongly featured in results
at AltaVista and Go (Infoseek).
http://www.webcrawler.com/ WebCrawler has the smallest
index of any major search engine on the web -- think of it as Excite
Lite. The small index means WebCrawler is not the place to go when
seeking obscure or unusual material. However, some people may feel that
by having indexed fewer pages, WebCrawler provides less overwhelming
results in response to general searches.
Yahoo is the web's most popular search service and has a well-deserved
reputation for helping people find information easily. The secret to
Yahoo's success is human beings. It is the largest human-compiled guide
to the web, employing about 150 editors in an effort to categorize the
web. Yahoo has over 1 million sites listed. Yahoo also supplements its
results with those from Inktomi. If a search fails to find a match
within Yahoo's own listings, then matches from Inktomi are displayed.
Inktomi matches also appear after all Yahoo matches have first been