Search Engines

They are a lot of search engines on the World Wide Web, and more growing more and more each day. This Document is to help users to do searches and to provide a list of the most popular search engines on the Web today. If applicable, further information will be provided about each individual search engine.

Search Engines:
Search Engine Address Location
Veronica gopher://
Web Crawler
Papers and Presentations on Spiders WWW'94 paper at

SIGNIDR-V presentation at

Second World Wide Web Conference at

The table below lists some general techniques that MOST search engines provided.

Keyword Techniques Example
Must include exact phrase Use Double Quotes Around Words that are Part of a Phrase "great barrier reef""martial arts"
Specify Words that Must Appear in the Results Attach a + in front words that must appear in result documents sting +police
Specify Words that Should Not Appear in the Results Attach a - in front of words that must not appear in result documents. python -monty
Boolean operators (such as AND, OR, NOT)
AND & Finds only documents containing all of the specified words or phrases Mary AND lamb finds documents with both the word and the word lamb.
OR | Finds documents containing at least one of the specified words or phrases Mary OR lamb finds documents containing either or lamb. The found documents could contain both, but do not have to.
NOT ! Excludes documents containing the specified word or phrase. NOT cannot stand alone--use it with another, like AND. Mary AND NOT lamb.
NEAR ~ Finds documents containing both specified words or phrases 10 words of each other. Mary NEAR lamb would find the rhyme, but likely not religious or Christmas-related documents.
Wildcard Matching (*) Attaching a * to the right-hand side of a word will return left side partial matches cap* versus cap


restrict searches to document titles only place the letter t followed by a colon in front of the string t:joe boxer versus joe boxer
restrict searches to document URLs only place the letter u followed by a colon in front of the string u:intel versus intel


A Community Guide is a list of the webpages which best match the topic-mining target of that Guide. When you visit a recommended webpage, a Community Guide toolbar is at hand in case you want to tell Lycos -- and other explorers like you -- whether or not you like the page, and think it should be in the guide. It takes only a single click of your mouse to give the thumbs-up (or down) on a website and become a Community Guider yourself.

Lycos tallies the ratings given by Guiders like you and sorts each Community Guide's list of recommended websites accordingly, updating the listing several times a day. Meanwhile, our tireless Web spider is always searching for new documents that are most like the highest-ranked webpages in each Community Guide. In effect, your votes train the spider to find increasingly better websites for the Community Guide.

To help you find the information that you want, Lycos allows you to sort results in order to bring the most-relevant information to the top of the list.

AltaVista Technology, Inc.

Advanced search is for very specific queries and not for general searching. Almost everything you need to do can be done more quickly and with better results through the simple form, where AltaVista controls the ranking. However, if you need to find documents within a certain range of dates or if you have to do some complex boolean searches there isn't a more powerful tool on the web. Remember, when you use the advanced search form, you control the ranking and if the ranking field is left blank, no ranking will be applied and the results will be in no particular order.

Ranking results: To rank matches, enter terms in the Ranking field; otherwise, the results will appear in no particular order. You could enter words that are part of your query or enter new words as an additional way to refine your search. For example, you could further narrow a search for COBOL AND programming by entering advanced and experienced in the Ranking field.

Languages: AltaVista allows you to limit your results to those of a particular language. This is very helpful when you perform a search and find that many of the results are not in your native language.

Case Sensitivity: Use only lower case unless you want your search to be case sensitive. If you search for Coffee, you'll get only documents that include that word with just that capitalization. If you for coffee, you'll get any page with that word.

Precedence parentheses ( ) to specify precedence in a query. For example, to search for that contain information about both President Clinton and Bush try this query: president AND ((George NEAR Bush) AND ((Bill OR William) NEAR ))

Altavista Special Functions for searching the Web

anchor:textFinds pages that contain the specified word or phrase in the text of a hyperlink. anchor:"Click here to visit AltaVista" find pages with "Click here to visit AltaVista" as a link.
applet:class Finds pages that contain a specified Java applet. Use applet:morph to find pages using applets called morph
domain:domainname Finds pages within the specified domain. Use domain:de to find pages from Germany, or use domain:org to find pages from organizations.
host:name Finds pages on a specific computer. The search would find pages on the AltaVista computer, and would find on the computer called dilbert at
image:filename Finds pages with images having a specific filename. Use image:elvis to find pages with images called elvis
link:URLtext Finds pages with a link to a page with the specified URL text. Use to find all pages linking to AltaVista.
text:text Finds pages that contain the specified text in any part of the page other than an image tag, link, or URL. The search text:cow9 would find all pages with the term cow9 in them.
title:text Finds pages that contain the specified word or phrase in the page title (which appears in the title bar of most browsers). The search title:Elvis would find pages with Elvis in the title.
url:text Finds pages with a specific word or phrase in the URL. Use url:altavista to find all pages on all servers that have the word altavista in the host name, path, or filename--the complete URL, in other words.

Special Functions for Usenet Searches

Keyword Function
from:username@addres Finds articles posted with the specified e-mail address. For , use to find presidential postings.
subject:"text" Finds articles with the specified word or phrase in the field. Use subject:"basketball playoffs" to find with "basketball playoffs" in the subject.
Newsgroups:groupname Finds articles posted in the specified newsgroup. Use just part of the group name to match a range of groups, like newsgroups:nl to match all groups from the Netherlands
summary:text Finds articles with the specified word or phrase in the Summary field. Use summary:playoffs to find postingswith playoffs in the summary field.
Keywords:text Finds articles containing keywords matching the specified or portion of a word. Use keywords:beta to find postings with beta in the keywords field.


HotBot then searches the full text of the more than 50 million documents in its, finds all documents that fit your criteria, sorts them according to their, and returns a list of documents in the form of abstracts and hyperlinks.

HotBot's pulldown menus and buttons let you modify or refine your search. Use these tools to narrow your search by placing more conditions on the query. The more you tell HotBot about what you're looking for, the more accurate your results will be.

Currently HotBot looks first to the description <meta> tag for the summary. If there's no such tag, HotBot uses the first few hundred characters of your visible text for the abstract. If you want to customize your summary, include the description <meta> tag in your HTML code. Note that HotBot will take some time to detect and index these changes. You can request a quicker update by adding the URL of the changed page to HotBot.

HotBot supports the standard keywords, description, author, and robots <meta> tags. These tags give Web page creators some control over how their pages are ranked and how they appear in HotBot search results.


Veronica is an index and retrieval system which can locate items on most of the gopher servers in the Internet. The veronica index contains about 10 million items from approximately 5500 gopher servers (June 1994).

Veronica finds resources by searching for WORDS in TITLES. It does not do a full-text search of the contents of the resources; it finds resources whose titles contain your specified search word(s). The "title" is the title of the resource as it appears on the menu of its HOME gopher server.

Veronica is used with a gopher client. You will choose "veronica" from the menu of some gopher server, and enter a set of query words or special directives. When the search is finished, the results will be presented as a normal gopher menu. You may browse the discovered resources in this menu, as you would use any other gopher menu.

Web Crawler

WebCrawler supports "natural language searching". WebCrawler is programmed to find results that match any or all of those words. However, WebCrawler assumes that you're most interested in results that contain all of the words you entered and gives those documents a higher relevance score so they appear at the top of the list. Because the default search method is to find any or all of the terms, WebCrawler also returns pointers to pages that contain some of the words.

Clicking the "Search Options" link above your search results will allow you to specify how WebCrawler will display your search results in the future.

You can view just the titles of the documents your search has returned, or see a short summary of each document.

WebCrawler Shortcuts help you find what you're looking for, all in one place. Based on what you type in the search box, WebCrawler offers you Shortcuts with links to relevant information from our extensive Guide to the best sites on the Web.


Infoseek provides the following searchable collections

Infoseek provides the following Desktop Applications

Infoseek provides the following Intranet Products

Infoseek Worldwide

Visit one of our ten international services through Infoseek Worldwide. We have partnerships with the premier directories in these countries to combine high quality local content with our award-winning search technology*. Infoseek offers Internet Search Services for the following countries: Brazil, Denmark, France - partnership with Nomade*, Germany, Italy - partnership with Virgilio*, Japan, Netherlands, Spanish, Sweden, United Kingdom - partnership with UK Plus*

Infoseek is one of the most frequently visited sites on the Internet because its easy-to-use product allows new as well as experienced users to find the information they need on the Web quickly and easily.

With intelligent channels and one of the world's largest directories of Web sites organized by topic, Infoseek provides consumers with meaning and context in addition to high-quality search results.


Excite Search, the Internet's most comprehensive search tool, lets you search more than 50 million Web pages, 140,000 Web site listings, and thousands of Usenet postings.

Excite's exclusive technology, ICE (Intelligent Concept Extraction), gives you the edge when it comes to searching the Web. As Excite indexes pages, ICE learns how new words and ideas on the Web are related to other words and ideas. When you search for "dog care," for instance, Excite knows that "pet grooming" is a related topic and finds pages about this, too, even if the words "dog" and "care" are not actually on the page. If you'd like more details on how to use our search engine, read the search help section.

There are 14 Excite Channels: Auto, Arts & Entertainment, Business & Investing, Careers & Education, Computers &Internet, Games, Health & Science, Lifestyle, My Channel, News, People & Chat, Shopping, Sports, Travel

Papers and Presentations on Spiders

WWW'94 paper at

SIGNIDR-V presentation at

Second World Wide Web Conference at