"With a magnitude measured in millions of pages, the World Wide Web is not an easy medium to master."
-Gus Venditto, Internet World
With the explosion of information on the World Wide Web, finding information becomes a very formidable task. Luckily there are facilities on the Internet to help sift through all of this material and help you find the information you need.
These facilities are called search engines and indexes. A search engine is a site that will allow you to type in a few keys words and then search for those words against a gigantic list of web sites and site information. A search index, on the other hand, categorizes sites into general topics menu and then allows you to search hierachiccly through menues that become more and more specific until you find your information.
Here is a sample search engine:
What you probably noticed trying the sample search engine is that the key
word(s) you entered may or may not have led you sites containing the information
that you are looking for. If this is the case you may want to try multiple word
boolean operators that may be available through the search engine that will
help you to streamline your query and return more specific information.
After you have tried a few search engines, you may start to wonder which search
engine is the best, most efficient, or returns the best results. However, it really
depends on the purpose that you have for use and the kind of search results you would
like to receive. You can refer to this
evaluation of some of the more popular search engines
and their features, however I strongly recommend trying some of these
engines on your own to determine for yourself how well each
meets your searching needs.