About the Search Engines

With the vast number of resources available on the 'net, the obvious solution when attempting to find something is to use a search engine. But which one? Each of the Internet's major search engines is listed below with a brief description. You can search many of these directly from our main search page without needing to leave DennisFamilyOnline's website.

Internet Directories

Internet directories are comprehensive websites designed to allow quick access to many different websites related by category. The guides are the easiest way for new Internet users to quickly find what they are looking for.

 Yahoo is the internet's premier web guide and resource for just about anything. Their extensive databases allow you to search for websites by category, as well as by the title of the website. Since this is the quickest way for new or intermediate users to search for something on the web, Yahoo should be your first stop if you are looking for a website. We strongly believe that this is the best place for new internet users to begin searching.
 Magellan is another powerful web guide which allows you to search for websites by category. Although there is virtually no difference between the two web directories, Yahoo's bigger presence, staff and databases give it an edge over Magellan.
 Snap.Com is a relatively new web directory that is designed to bring hand-picked content to you in a personal fashion. The content and web sites returned from this site are typically on par with those of other directories, although some of the customization/personalization features can create a confusing interface.

General Search Pages

General search pages are sites designed to allow users quick access to specific individual sites and files. They can be accessed by entering a word, phrase or question. These are particularly useful for intermediate to advanced users who know what they are looking for.

 Excite is a popular general purpose search site. Excite also offers other services and is expanding its content areas.
 Infoseek is the internet's leading search page. It incorporates many features of the web directories while providing a comprehensive and detailed search for specific items on the Internet.
 Lycos is another leading internet search page which also provides many extra features of the web guides while providing a more specific internet search.
 Starting Point is a newer search engine, it offers quite a few searching capabilities and you can vote for which sites you think should be dubbed as "Starting Point Hot Sites".

Advanced Searches (Bots)

The advanced search engines use programs that search the internet, following the links on pages that they index. These results are compiled into a database which can be searched. The advanced searches are the most powerful and can find obscure information. However, to get good results you need to use the search engines' features to limit your search... a search on a simple topic can often yield thousands of results.

 HotBot is a newer site, but has quickly gained popularity. It features an all-graphical interface that makes it easier to restrict searches than some other systems. Using checkboxes and menu options you can tell HotBot exactly what you are (and aren't) looking for.

Meta Searches

A meta search allows you to search through multiple search engines with only one search. The advanatage of a meta search is that you are able to access a large number of resources at the same time; the disadvantage is that it is usually difficult to construct a narrow search using these tools, and you will often return more information than desired.

 Metacrawler is a popular search tool that will search several different indexes for the terms you specify.

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