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   The Top Search Engines

 Search Engines continued

Help and Hints
On Custom Search Folders
Special Collection

The newcomer, Northern Light, is quickly becoming one of the most popular and
effective search engines. Not only does it index more pages than AltaVista or Infoseek,
it also offers several unique, additional features - customized organization of search
results by category, and access (for a fee) to a database not otherwise accessible on
the Web. Finally, Northern Light is highly successful in sorting results by relevance,
as well as filtering out duplicate links.

When searching, one can choose the Web, the Special Collection or both. The Special
Collection is a unique database of over one million articles from 1800 books, magazines,
journals, newspapers, pamphlets and newswires, covering a wide variety of subjects.
Summaries of the articles are available for free, but most articles cost $1-$4 each (but
have a no-hassle money-back guarantee).

For most searchers, however, the most valuable feature of Northern Light is the
manner in which Northern Light filters search results by relevance, after displaying
the 25 most significant hits. The remaining results are organized into folders,
according to subject (e.g. baseball, hypertension), type (e.g. maps, press releases),
source (e.g. commercial web sites, magazine articles), and language. By choosing
the most relevant folder, one can avoid time-consuming ferreting through hundreds
of urls. Within each folder, results that are not initially visible are also resorted into
new search folders, also categorized.

Northern Light's search procedure is relatively simple: use a number of keywords
(the more specific the better), type a + before words that must be included, an OR
between words when only one is required, NOT before words you wish to exclude,
and quotes around a phrase.

Searchers easily become habituated to familiar search engines and do not bother to
try the others - especially the newcomers to the Net. Northern Light, however,
should not be missed. Once you use it - as well as exceptional multisearch engines
like and Metacrawler, you will return again and again.


SEARCH.COM S faq is one the two best multisearch engines on the Internet! Not 
only does it query nineteen search engines simultaneously (AltaVista, Excite,
OpenText, HotBot, Infoseek,  Lycos,  WebCrawler and other top search
engines, as well as Google Groups,, 411 People Finder, the
Yellow Pages and other directories), it reveals the results in order of
relevance, indicating which search engines contained which listings. If you
check "integrate results," it removes duplicates, and provides a succinct
summary of each of the findings.

Although you can't do advanced boolean searching with,
you can indicate any or a phrase, and can specify how many results
you want from each search engine. Added bonuses -
searches ftp sites, and sites created in 22 languages! Its primary
disadvantage however is that it does include too many broken links.

Another exceptional multisearch engine is Metacrawler
at  Highly recommended!



HONORABLE MENTION (recommended but not reviewed)
Excite Search                                         
Metacrawler Multisearch*                   
NEW! Fast Search*                
For further information on using Excite, Hotbot and Metacrawler,
see our SearchHelper page.

Ask Jeeves                                 
Dogpile Multisearch                     
Mamma Multisearch                           
Inference Find*                                       
Highway 61 Multisearch           
Internet Sleuth Database Search        
Cnet's Multi-Search Page
Search Net Happenings

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