Internet searching

Prompted by the expertise of some of our guests in being able to find anything at the drop of a hat I wondered if a slightly off-topic technical post might be of some use?

I remember the days (94/95) when the choice of search engine was between Alta Vista & Lycos. Excite was also around back then but I never used it. Others came along later, such as HotBot, WebCrawler, Ask Jeeves and of course the now almost universal, Google.

I have no idea how these things work but I’m assuming that the more an engine is used, the smarter it gets. That’s why I use only Google nowadays for general searches. The Firefox drop-down search box is an essential tool and that gets used for Google and all other searches including things like – Wikipedia, Amazon, You Tube, Dictionary, IMDb and so on. For more complex matters I have an Athens log-in and can access the full OED as well as other lengthier tomes like biographies and encyclopedias.

There are still today more search engines available than just Google, it has not yet wiped out or bought out all the competitors and I wondered if anyone still uses any other search engines and if so which ones and what are they particularly good at?

I also wondered about the ways you can refine your searches in Google. All those plus and minus signs and using speech marks and stuff. I use these very rarely but perhaps I should use them more? Do they actually help?

Is there a whole other world of blog searching?

Too many unanswered questions. Why not use this post as an opportunity to spill the beans, tell us old dinosaurs (me anyway) how to get more from our searching!

Comments covering both English and Polish searching would be welcome.

PS – Here’s a history of search engines

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6 thoughts on “Internet searching

  1. guest says:

    I use google and that’s all.

    The reason why i am so “fast” (which seems a little bit annoying and may irritate some of you) is simple. At my job I work a lot with the internet and my brain is like a huge search engine now. :)
    For example if you talk here about cars ,movies ,cooking, history my brain immediately remembers the websites about these topics and i can find them again in about 10 seconds.

    I just can’t “delete” in my brain all the trash which i found on the internet in the last 10yrs…

  2. Biluś says:

    I think a few contributions on ‘a whole other world of blog searching’ would be of great use – and timely (google ‘New Search Engines help users find blogs’ which suggests that ‘The race is on to become the Google of blogs.’).

    To start the ball rolling, I’ve collected the following together, although I don’t have experience of all of them (I mostly use technorati or google blog search) – I’d be interested to know what others think:

  3. wiosanna says:

    I use mostly google. I don’t use +/- usually, I just add more words, phrases, sometimes quotes. In google if you know how to ask you can find almost everything. Like guest I work with internet and I love searching, but sometimes I have problems with information overflow, so now I started to use I add many things I found and tag it, so then if I know I saw something I search only there so there is less trashes.
    Yes, there is a whole new world of blog searching. Here are more common tools

  4. island1 says:

    guest: Mate, we keep saying it – we don’t find your constant link adding annoying at all, we love it :)

  5. Like wiosanna, I just use google and, when necessary, quotes, exclude “-” or a specific site:. I have google remember all my searches and, on occasion, I go back through the history.

  6. scatts says:

    Lots of good stuff here. When I get my proper computer back I shall work my way through all the links and tips. Thanks & keep ’em coming!

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