Finding Internet Web Sites

A computer browser is used to view and interact with the World Wide Web. Internet Explorer is an example of a browser. A search engine is part of a browser. It is used to find a desired Web site on the World Wide Web. There are two basic types of search engine.

  • The Directory type is category based. Alta Vista, Excite and Google are directory type search engines. They may also have an index type capability. The structure varies somewhat. To use a directory search engine you choose a broad category and a list of URLs (Uniform Resource Locators), also known as Web sites, appears. This type of search engine is best if you are researching a broad, popular topic.

  • The Index type of search engine is open-ended. All the web, HotBot and Teoma are index type search engines. To make an index search you enter several key words and a list of Web sites appears. If your key words are too general the response may list thousands of URLs. To narrow the search you add more descriptive key words. This type of search engine is best if you're researching a narrow or obscure topic.

When you want all of your key words to appear in a URL you wish to find, you enclose them in quotation marks, " ". If you know the Web site's URL, simply enter it in either type of search engine's window and the site will appear - usually.

Sometimes the transmission of the site to your computer slows or is stopped before it's complete. When this happens, click the refresh button on the toolbar. This forces the Web page contents to be retransmitted.

No search engine will connect with all sites on the Internet. Most engines are biased toward one area of interest or another. When you enter a URL and get the dreaded "404 Not Found" message, try a different search engine before you give up. Start thinking up key words for the Index-type search engine.

Keep a half-dozen search engines at your fingertips by establishing quick links to them by "Bookmarking" or adding to "Favorites" (depending on your system). Here are a few search engine URLs to get you started:

To find an elusive Web site, you can simultaneously search dozens of search engines with so-called meta-search engines.

Examples include:

The following are directories of specialty search engines:

Return to Chapter 13

Proceed to Appendix B

Copyright 2002, Robert S. Munson. All Rights Reserved