Understanding and Comparing Web Search Tools

— Articles, papers, evaluations and descriptions of various search engines —


Search service comparisions

Search services and retrieval

Indexing the Internet

Bibliographies

Search service comparisions

SearchEngineWatch
One of the best sources for information on search enginges. The site provides searching and submission tips, a listing of differnt categories search engines, reviews, ratings and tests, and other resources on search engines.

Search Engine Showdown
For search engine users and specialists this site offers in-depth information on the features of search engines and their differences.

Abilock, Debbie
Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need
One of the best introductions on choosing a search engine that fits your specific information need.

Beyond Northwestern [jan 1997] Evaluation of Selected Internet Search Tools
An analysis of 13 search engines including Alta Vista, Deja News, HotBot, InfoSeek, Lycos, WebCrawler and Yahoo; features reviewed include databases for searching, types of searches available, and results content. Helpful comments are included.

Birmingham, Judy [March 1996/febr. 1997] Internet Search Engines
A series of tables of various types of search engines (keyword/subject, discussion groups, people indices, education-related) with brief descriptions of classification scheme, search options, and so forth.

Bradley, Phil [1996] Multi-search engines - a comparison.
Information on searching the Internet using Multi-search engines, rather than individual search engines. Discusses the theory of how these things work, their advantages and disadvantages and finally presents the reader with a small tabular comparison of some major Multi-search engines.

Campbell, Karen [1995] Comparing Search Engines
A collection of articles.

Campbell, Karen [1997] Tips on Popular Search Engines.

Engine Review
Review of the strengths and weaknesses of the major search engines.

Feldman, Susan [may 1977] "Just the Answers, Please" - Choosing a Web Search Service
A detailed comparison of six web search engines. She evaluates the results of seven sample searches on topics such as comparative reviews of new cars, Europe's Internet access infrastructure, and tennis elbow. She provides tips and techniques as well as a search engine feature sheet. Excite and Infoseek get top honors, followed by HotBot and then AltaVista.

Felt, Elizabeth/Scales, Jane [mrt 1996] Web Robots: List and Analysis
A current list with short information on 16 Web Robots.

Finder's Digest [oct 1996] Special Report - Search Utility Shootout
Objective report on FINDSPOT'S testing of search engines. The major engines are throroughly reviewed. Excite proved to be the best performer out of all the search utilities in this roundup.

Gray, Terry [march 1997] How to Search the Web: A Guide To Search Tools
An excellent review of ten popular search engines. Includes a table of features, extensive searching tips, useful search examples, and a short bibliography.

Lebedev, Alexander [sept. 1996] Best search engines for finding scientific information in the Net.

Leighton, H. Vernon [june 1996] World Wide Web Indexes: a study
Compares the performance of four major search engines:Lycos, Infoseek, WebCrawler, and WWWWorm. Includes later comments and criticism of the study.

Leonard, Andrew Search Engines: where to find anything on the net
Comparative review of nineteen search engines (individual and meta) from the c|net web site. Evaluation of ease of use, power and results. Includes a useful features table and search tips section.

Liu, Jian [1995/sept.1996] Understanding WWW Search Tools
An overview of some of the major search engines. Lists features and includes comments and tips for searching.

Mauldin, Michael L. Lycos: Design choices in an Internet search service
Mauldin, who developed Lycos,presents a brief history of Web search services and describes how search engines such as Lycos perform their tasks.

Mitchel, Steve [mai 1996] General Internet Resource Finding Tools
A review and list of those used to Build INFOMINE.

Notess, Greg [June 1996] Searching the Web with Alta Vista - Database 19(3):86-88.

Quantitative Analysis of Five WWW "Search Engines"

Randall, Neil [1995] Internet: Search Engines: Powering Through the Internet
from PC Computing, September 1995. Reviews and rates 14 major search engines.

Scoville, Richard [jan. 1966] Find It On The Net
From the January 1996 Issue of PC World. 10 search engines copared. Table. Metasearch engines.

Selberg, Erik and Etzioni, Oren The MetaCrawler architecture for resource aggregation on the Web
Selberg and Etzioni, who developed the MetaCrawler Softbot, describe how their system exploits the results from other search engines to provide a comprehensive set of documents in response to a query.

Slot, Matt [1995] Matrix of Internet Catalogs and Search Engines
A comparison of Internet indexing tools. Evaluation of many of the most popular Web search engines and subject catalogs. Suited as a guide for the Internet novice, it also serves as a checklist for experienced netsurfer's and information specialists who want specific features or value-added services. Information, links to and evaluations of approx 30 subject catalogues and search engines.

Solock, Jack Searching the Internet: Some Basic Considerations and Automated Search Indexes [Moved to ??]
A primer that looks at eight search engines ( (Alta Vista, Open Text, WebCrawler, Excite, Infoseek Guide, Lycos, HotBot, and Infoseek Ultra), from the point of view of user search features, rather than speed or size of index. It gives a brief explanations of such features as Boolean searching, proximity operators, field searching, phrase searching, and truncation searching. The article is accompanied by a table that gives the basic syntax for how to use these features. In november '96 this article will be moved to the site's archive.

Stanley, Tracey [1996] Alta Vista vs. Lycos

Sullivan, Danny Search Engine Watch
A resource designed to provide information to two distinct groups of users: web professionals (commercial webmasters, site designers and promoters), and web searchers. The "Webmaster's Guide to Search Engines" contains information on search engine design, ranking, and tips on how to make sure your site receives a high relevance rating. "Search Engine Facts and Fun" contains information on the major search services. "Search Engine Status Reports" shows how search engines are doing in a variety of areas, from financial to technical. "Search Engine Resources" contains search engines reviews, tutorials on how to use search engines, insight into search engine technology.

Tweney, Chris Trailblazer: Internet Search Sites
The ZD Net

Tyner, Ross [mai 1997] Sink or Swim: Internet Search Tools and Techniques
An introduction to Web search tools and strategies. Includes search engine comparisons and exercises.

UCB [nov. 1995/1996] Internet Search Tool Details
Library, University of California, Berkeley. Information on the type, size and content of each search engine's database, search options, update frequency and how results are displayed. Covers: Yahoo, Galaxy, Alta Vista, Infoseek Guide, Open Text Web Index, Lycos.

UCB Internet Resources by Subject

Univ. of Leeds Computing Service Searching the World Wide Web with Lycos & InfoSeek
A comparison between the Lycos search tool and the InfoSeek search tool; attempts to ascertain which tool provides the most effective mechanism for searching WWW resources, using a number of different indicators.

Web search tool features

Winship, Ian [1995] World Wide Web Searching Tools, An Evaluation
Evaluation of four search engines, Lycos, WebCrawler, WWWorm, and Harvest, and two Subject Trees with search engines, Yahoo and EiNet Galaxy. This paper appeared in VINE (99) 1995, 49-54.

Index Search service and retrieval

Bocher, Robert
Searching the Web: Basic and Advanced
Bocher is the library technology consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Devidion for Linraries, Technology, and Community Learning. He seems well qualified to instruct us how to locate a particular information resourc with the many powerful and sophisticated search engines available.

Guy, Laura A.Strategies for Searching for Information on the Internet
Association of Public Data Users and International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology (IASSIST)

Internic The Scout Toolkit
Offers new users help to identify the network tools most appropriate for their needs. Includes a comprehensive listing of all netwerk tools organized by function. You can investigate searchable indexes, subject catalogs, and annotated resource indexes and decide which tool best fits their needs. For further investigation, a link is provided to more comprehensive listings of tools in each category.

Koch, Traugott [march 1996]Internet search services
Discusses the possibilities and difficulties of systematic information retrieval on the Internet and gives a description of efforts for development in this area.

Lager, Mark [1966] Spinning a Web Search
A presentation targeted toward WEB searchers, in particular, reference librarians and those who navigate the Internet on a frequent basis. It looks at search engines, comparing search techniques and noting differences.

Leita, Carole: Web Search Strategies
Table of Contents from her new book. Chapter 4 ('Locating Information/) is online.

Slot, Matt: Web Matrix: What's the Difference?
Describes differences between subject directories and search engines. 6/8/96.

Tillman, Hope N. [sept. 1995] Evaluating Quality on the Net
Updated version of "Evaluating the Quality of Information on the Internet or Finding a Needle in a Haystack" delivered at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Wagner, Kurt W. [1996] Internet resource evaluation: A discussion of review sites
"What follows is a discussion of three Internet resources which, in turn, provide evaluation of Internet resources. As the numbers ofInternet sites continue to increase by hundreds of thousands per year, such evaluative tools will become increasingly important for the conduct of useful and effective information gathering from this medium." Magellan - McKinley's Internet Directory Point GNN (Global Network Navigator) Voices - Web Review.

Webster, Kathleen and Kathryn Paul[jan 1996] Beyond Surfing: Tools and Techniques for Searching the Web

Weiss, Scott: Survey of Information Retrieval

Index Indexing the Internet

Koch, T. et al [sept. 1996] The building and maintenance of robot based internet search services: A review of current indexing and data collection methods
A clever analysis of search services, full-text retrieval software, as well as harvesting tools. Includes detailed descriptions of individual systems and a full bibliography of resources.

Koster, Martijn [apr. 1995] Robots in the Web: threat or treat?
Reprinted from ConneXions, Volume 9(4) April 1995. A paper that investigates the (dis)advantages of robots, with an emphasis on robots used for resource discovery. Alternative discovery strategies are compared. Koster concludes that while robots will be useful in the immediate future, they will become less effective and more problematic as the Web grows.

Koster, Martijn The Web Robots Pages
This page is devoted to learning as much about spiders, their uses and problems.

Koster, Martijn [1996] WWW Robot Frequently Asked Questions

Koster, Martijn [1993] Guidelines for Robot Writers

Koster, Martijn Simultaneous search engines. The disadvantages.

Index Bibliographies

Bocher, Bob [april 1997] Web Search Engines: A Webliography
A broad cross section of resources on Web search engines.

Brownlee, Rowan [apr. 1996] Search Engine Reference List
from Web4Lib.

Internet Retrieval & Indexing Articles
Research Issues - Electronic Information Group, Computing and Information Services, Texas A&M University. Predominantly documentation from developers of Internet indexes and search engines: Lycos, Harvest, WebCrawler, World Wide Web Worm, RBSE, Fish Search, RMG (Remote Managing Gigabytes).

Kathryn, Paul Ongoing Search Engine Analysis
A list with papers and articles, search engines sites and digital libraries.

Koch, Traugott [june 1996] Literature about search services

Mitchell, Steve [March 1996, ongoing] General Internet Resource Finding Tools

Index


Editor: dr. Albert Benschop
Social & Behavioral Sciences
University of Amsterdam