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As the Internet evolves, so do the offerings of search engines as they battle to get your attention. New engines form constantly with changes in technology and old ones leave us behind.
Here’s a sampling of some you may already know:
AOL Search – A Google powered search engine used by AOL users also pulls listings from the Open Directory Project.
AltaVista – the Internet’s first Web Index, has very comprehensive coverage and a wide range of power searching commands, which make it a particular favorite among researchers. It gets its listings from Yahoo! Search.
All The Web – uses results from Yahoo! Search plus an index of tens of millions of pdf and doc files.
Ask.com – (formerly Ask Jeeves) is a human-powered search service that attempts 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 web pages from their search engine.
Bing – Microsoft’s MSN web portal also offers free email, instant messenger, and a directory. It previously used Looksmart for its search results but now provides access to Yahoo’s listings.
Excite – A popular web portal (a page that, in addition to search, includes news, sports, weather, email and much more) on the web. Excite uses a metasearch engine that searches Google, Yahoo and Ask listings.
Google – Currently the most popular search engine, 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.
Google is also known for a wide range of features including: cached pages, excellent spell checking, access to dictionary definitions, stock quotes, street maps, telephone numbers and more. The Google Toolbar is also very popular.
HotBot – has advanced search features and presents listings from either Ask.com or MSN and the Open Directory Project
LookSmart includes past and popular searches right on their home page. They also have a pay per click advertising program.
Lycos – another web portal offers “personalized content” including free email, websites, blogs and photo sharing. They include listings from the Open Directory Project. A good looking site.
Netscape Search – Netscape Search’s results come primarily from Google and the Open Directory Project.
Open Directory Project – Uses volunteer editors to catalog the web. It was acquired by Netscape in November 1998, and the company pledged that anyone would be able to use information from the directory through an open license arrangement. Netscape itself was the first licensee. Lycos also uses the information for its main service and within Lycos-owned HotBot. Here’s more information about Open Directory.
Search.com – A metasearch engine owned by CNET, that searches Google, Ask.com, LookSmart and dozens of other leading search engines to bring you the best results.
Snap – An innovative search company that offers previews of websites in search listings.
WebCrawler is a metasearch engine that combines results from Google, Yahoo! Search, MSN Search and Ask.com. They also offer a toolbar with Dictionary Search that you can download.
Yahoo! Search – Once the web’s most popular search service is still a good alternative to Google. Yahoo is the oldest major web site directory, having launched in late 1994.