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The major search engines

Help is at
Add URL at
You can read about Fast at

New, fast Norwegian search engine who claim to have more pages than anyone else indexed, with an aim of indexing everything. These people plan to sell this search engine technology to others, so expect to see more of this. Site offers specialised FTP and MP3 search engines, but the search facilities are a little primitive at present.

Text-only version at
Translation at
Advanced search at
Add URLs at

One of the oldest (ancient in Internet terms), and still one of the greats. AltaVista offers more options than most other sites, although if you push the envelope with complex queries it can break down. Over the years it has been the first to trail many types of search engine technology (text-only sites, mulit-lingual, translations, picture finding, even Java applets linking results). Although they lost the plot slightly through the "portal years", happilly AltaVista is again focusing on it's search engine.

AltaVista remains one of the biggest, fastest and most comprehensive search engines around. To get the most from it familiarization with the advanced search options is a must, and pays dividends.

About the only thing wrong with AltaVista used to be the irritating limit of 10 results per page, but now even that can be "personalised" away. or

"power search" at
Power help at

Recently taken over by Google, DejaNews is currently in a state of flux

Search engine dedicated to USENET posting only. Search by keywords, date author, newsgroup, etc. A very powerful tool for finding answers to a question you're sure someone will have asked before.

Many people use DejaNews as their newsreader, and it is possible to post to USENET from DejaNews, though you'll need an account, and it used to be that emails have to be confirmed before the post is dispatched.

Advanced search help is at
although is offers little more than how to construct boolean expressions. Add URL at

A large search engine with one of the more energetic spiders, but in my experience patchy in the relevance of sites it displays. We see a lot of people come to our site from Excite for quite the wrong reasons. For example at one point any search including the word "definition" (didn't matter what of) listed one of my pages at number 1.

Excite seems biased to keyword repetition near the top of a page, and in the above example the repetition of the word "definition" became so strong that what definitions you were looking for became irrelevant.

There's no advanced search as such, but read the search tips.

Search tips and help at

Add URL at

Another Excite-based search engine, although again with a smaller-than-Excite database.

Advanced search at
Help is at
Add URL is at
Read about Google at

Since Google was released in beta (Apr'99) it's taken the search engine world by storm. This site was developed as a research project, but is much praised for the accuracy of its results, which it achieves by calculating how relevant a site is to the search term. It's also popular because of it's fast advert-free way of delivering results. Google is now allowing itself to be used commercially on other sites

It includes a whimsical "I'm feeling lucky" option which will take you straight to the first results page, but believe me.. no-one is that lucky with a search query!

More options can be found at

Advanced help is buried in the menus at

Add URL at

Text-only version at

Another largish index. Has a nicer interface than AltaVista, especially as regards finding recent additions, and generally gives good results. Recently has merged with Lycos.

Advanced search is at and
requires Javascript
Tips can be found at
Add URL at

A slightly smaller engine. Originally this engine didn't appear to "spider" a site, with the results that only submitted URLs are listed. I'm not sure this is still true.

Infoseek seems to bias towards keywords in the Title of a page with the result that results are usually fairly relevant, it being a lot harder to spam a page title.

Recently they've added the "cute" feature of highlighting matched words in a "marker pen" effect.

Advanced search at

Add a site at This
also allows you to check is your site is already listed. will automatically direct you to your regional variant ( in our case. Consequently the above URLs are UK-based.

Groups results by website, which can sometimes be useful

Power search at
Help (several pages) at
Add URL at

Northern Light is one of the more active robots. It seems to have a large database as a result of its spidering. It has a number of specialised search options.

No Advanced search (but supports AltaVista syntax)
Help is at

No Add URL (add to AltaVista instead)
Customize at

NOTE: In recent times the ragingsearch site simply re-directs back into the

revamped AltaVista site

I read this as AltaVista's response to Google. Using the same database and search syntax, the site is fast and can be customised to offer 100 results per page (hurrah!). Largely graphics free, it seems free of some of the bloat that has crept in to Altavista over the years.

No advanced search
No Help
Add URL at

Webcrawler would appear to be based on Excite, but without using the same database.

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