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Meta, Multi-Search Engines

employ many other search engines  sequentially or simultaneously

Google: uses "pagerank" process to calculate a web page's value to your search according to the number and importance of its links.

About Search Engines

articles or collections of interest

    Customised Search

Popular Search Engines

for UK: substitute .com with

Travel Search Engines:

"If it's fish you're looking for, why climb trees?"
But how do you know it's fish you're looking for?
And if you don't climb trees, where else can you look?
analyticalQ online journal:

9 Sept Always Searching

26 Nov Link or Search

18 Mar Searching to the ends of the earth

28 April Flight Search

Image Search
Audio Video Search


Looking for

special search engines for music, women, energy.

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Related Publications / Sources

Free Pint - over 30,000 business information searchers around the world. Effective search query discussion board, called the BAR.

Researcha: reviews & interviews with vendors, researchers, information managers

Library HQ: portal for the library profession

The Nutshell: Institute of Information Scientists, e-bulletins, e-journals



Basics of Search Engine Math and Boolean Algebra

Math OperandLogical SymbolDescriptionExamplesPossible Finds
plus sign + to addAND

find pages that contain all words preceded by +

+Anne +Ku

Anne AND Ku

Anne comes from the Ku family. The Diary of Anne Frank is different from the Ku.

minus sign - to subtractNOT

find pages that contain all words preceded by + but not remove those preceded by -

+Anne +Ku -Frank

Anne AND Ku NOT Frank

Anne comes from the Ku family.

quotation marks " " to multiply"   "

find pages that contain the words exactly as shown in quotation marks

"Anne Ku"

Anne Ku is the author of the flexibility book.

combining symbols

combine the above

finds the phrase Anne Ku exactly as shown, and analytical, but not Frank or Anne Frank

+"Anne Ku" +analytical -Frank -"Anne Frank"

Anne Ku is analytical.

asterisk **

wild card; truncation: searching on the steam or root of a world, allowing for variable characters


  • Anne
  • Annotation
  • Annie
slash /NEAR or NEAR/x

proximity searching: no further than x words

Anne NEAR/2 Ku

  • Anne Ku
  • Ku, Anne
  • Anne Elizabeth Ku
  • Anne Amy Elizabeth Ku
  • but not Anne Amy Eliza Jo Ku
parentheses ( ) 

nesting: helps group many terms logically

"Anne Ku" AND (piano OR guitar) NOT music

Anne Ku plays the piano.

Search Engines vs Directories



Search Engines

If you've used the right keyword strategy, you can quickly find the relevant web pages.

You can find pages that human experts (of the direcdtories) would exclude from their lists.

New web sites are accessible within days or even hours after publication.

Keyword searching can be difficult to get right.

It may be difficult or impossible to use a keyword search if the vocabulary of the subject is unfamiliar.

You must have a clearer idea of what you're looking for.

Search engines don't evaluate the pages they find and a certain amount of poor quality pages will be displayed.

No single engine searches the entire internet, so it's often necessary to use several search engines.


Directories are easier to browse at leisure, something you can't do very well with a keyword search engine.

Reports from a search engine are not evaluated, but in a directory, human beings have evaluated each page listed.

You may have to branch through the categories repeatedly before arriving at the right page.

If you're looking for some obscure topic, the people that maintain the directory may have excluded those pages. Search engines would be a better strategy.

Directories are often several months behind the times because of the need for human organisation.

Source: Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines by Randolph Hock