A List of Search Engines    Forming Your Query

The Engines

Meta-Engines (compiling the results of more than one search engine)


Spidered Search Engines (Keywords are built from the contents of the page)


Directories (Sites are found by topic, title, description and assigned keywords)

The Open Directory (used by Google)
Infoseek (based on Go)

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The Query

Any search engine will allow you to enter one or more words and will look for any occurrence of any of those words in the records in its database. Most directories will also let you search for topics containing your keyword or words, then search the records in that particular topic.

Most search engines will also let you choose whether to search for any of your selected words, all of them at once, or the words taken as a phrase. For example:

Some search engines, like Altavista, give you even more flexibility. You can say, for instance, "give me all records discussing 'fly fishing' or 'fishing with flies' or 'hand-tied flies' but only if they also mention trout and never if they mention 'Red Green'"
"fly fishing" "fishing with flies" "hand-tied flies" +trout -"Red Green"
Placing several words in quotes marks them as a phrase.
Marking an item with a plus sign (+) means "must contain this word."
Marking an item with a minus sign (-) means "must not contain this word."

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