by Nick Anis
We keep hearing about the millions of World Wide Web
users the major search engines and indexes have but the fact is there are
still millions of Web / Internet users that don't use or don't take full
advantage of search engines and indexes.
That's tragic because there are over 700,000 unique websites on the
World Wide Web and in order to find what you are looking for, (unless you
are psychic), you will need to search for what you want by
"category" or by "key word" or by both.
Some topics just don't lend themselves well to
categories and even if they do indexes that are arranged by categories are
far from complete because every single entry in a categorical index has to
be done manually. The largest
and best-known categorical index is Yahoo.
Yahoo also happens to have the greatest market share of indexes and
search engines. The second most popular search engine / index is
AltaVista, which is a search engine not an index.
I have found myself using http://www.alltheweb.com
because it has the largest index of web pages in the world (about
700,000,000 plus pages) and because it's the fastest in the world (it
returns results in a 1/4 of a second).
Otherwise I use Yahoo.
Some users do better searching an index because they are
able to figure out the category that best fits the information they are
looking for, other do better with straight key word searches. If you want to find a restaurant in Los Angeles for example,
you can search for "restaurant, Diamond Bar, California" but
chances are you will find it way to broad.
You will do much better if you add the keyword "Mexican"
or something. If you enclose
key word phrases in caps they will be treated as a string, otherwise the
search engine will give you any web page with those individual words on
it. You might try a directory
to find a good restaurant but you will probably find it's incomplete as I
A new search engine called http://www.Iwon.com
not only let's you search for what you are looking for; it gives
you free entries in a contest every time you search.
Another let's you ask questions in conversational English,
"What is a good Mexican Restaurant in Los Angeles?"
While this may seem appealing to novice users, it's better to bite
the bullet and simply type the phrases or words relating to the website(s)
you are seeking.
Before you get all confused and frustrated let me give
you a secret. Most indexes
(that find things by category) also use a search engine as a back up. So when you use Yahoo to find something, if it's not there in
Yahoo's index, your request is transferred to a search engine they have
partnered with to find what you are looking for.
I hope you find what you are looking for, as for me, I'm
of to a GREAT Mexican restaurant in Diamond Bar, The Whole Enchlada - http://www.thewholec.om.
# # #
Nick Anis is a food, wine, and travel
and technology writer with over 24 books in print published by
McGraw-Hill, Random House, Bantam, Ziff-Davis, Tab, and others. Nick's
articles have appeared in The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, West Coast
Media, The Family Publications Group, The Weekly News, and Travel-Watch.
His beats include food, travel, snow and waters sports, entertainment,
family recreation, consumer electronics, home improvement, and automotive.
He is responsible for the Restaurant Row Ethnic Dining Guide, co-published
by the Long Beach Press Telegram. Nick is an
accomplished downhill skier, PADI certified SCUBA diver, and when he's not
sitting on his butt goofing off, enjoys a variety of active recreation
including tennis, riding motorcycles, ATVs, wave runners, snow machines,
horses, skeet and trap shooting he's also taken a stab at riding camels,
donkeys, elephants, ostriches, lamas, dolphins, Reindeer, bulls,
mechanical bulls, and buffalo. Nick is a member (A
Secretary/Treasurer) of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers
Association (IFWTWA), a member of the North American Snow Sports
Journalist Association (NASJA), Computer Press Association, The Writer's
Guild, and listed in Books in Print, Media Map, and Press Access.
You can reach Nick at Editor@Travel-Watch.com.