- AOL Search at http://search.aol.com/ – AOL Search allows its members to search across the web and AOL’s own content from one place. The “external” version, listed above, does not list AOL content. The main listings for categories and web sites come from the Open Directory (see below). Inktomi (see below) also provides crawler-based results, as backup to the directory information.
- AltaVista at www.altavista.com – AltaVista is one of the oldest crawler-based search engines on the web. It has a large index of web pages and a wide range of power searching commands. It also offers news search, shopping search and multimedia search. AltaVista opened in December 1995. It was owned by Digital, then run by Compaq (which purchased Digital in 1998), then spun off into a separate company which is now controlled by CMGI.
- Ask Jeeves at www.askjeeves.com – Ask Jeeves is a human-powered search service that aims to direct you to the exact page that answers your question.
- Direct Hit at www.directhit.com – Direct Hit measures what people click on in the search results presented at its own site and at its partner sites, such as HotBot. Sites that get clicked on more than others rise higher in Direct Hit’s rankings. Thus, the service dubs itself a “popularity engine.” Aside from running its own web site, Direct Hit provides the main results which appear at HotBot (see below) and is available as an option to searchers at MSN Search. Direct Hit is owned by Ask Jeeves (above). Some Direct Hit information appears at Ask Jeeves. See the Using Direct Hit Results page to learn more about Direct Hit.
- Excite at www.excite.com – Excite offers a medium-sized crawler-based web page index, as well as access to human-powered directory results from LookSmart. Excite was launched in late 1995. It grew quickly in prominence and consumed two of its competitors, Magellan in July 1996, and WebCrawler in November 1996. Magellan was discontinued in April 2001. WebCrawler continues to operate as a separate service, but it provides the same results at the Excite.com site itself.
- FAST Search at www.alltheweb.com – FAST Search consistently has one of the largest indexes of the web. FAST also offers large multimedia and mobile/wireless web indexes, available from its site. The site, also known as AllTheWeb.com, is a showcase for FAST’s search technologies. FAST’s results are provided to numerous portals, including those run by Terra Lycos. FAST Search launched in May 1999.
- Google at www.google.com– Google is a top choice for web searchers. It offers the largest collection of web pages of any crawler-based search engine. Google makes heavy use of link analysis as a primary way to rank these pages. This can be especially helpful in finding good sites in response to general searches such as “cars” and “travel,” because users across the web have in essence voted for good sites by linking to them. The system works so well that Google has gained wide-spread praise for its high relevancy. Google provides web page search results to a variety of partners, including Yahoo and Netscape Search (see below). Google also provides the ability to search for images, through Usenet discussions and its own version of the Open Directory (see below).
- HotBot at www.hotbot.com – HotBot is a favorite among researchers due to its many power searching features. In most cases, HotBot’s first page of results comes from the Direct Hit service (see above), and then secondary results come from the Inktomi search engine, which is also used by other services. It gets its directory information from the Open Directory project (see below). HotBot launched in May 1996 as Wired Digital’s entry into the search engine market. Lycos purchased Wired Digital in October 1998 and continues to run HotBot as a separate search service.
- IWon at http://home.iwon.com – Backed by US television network CBS, iWon has a directory of web sites generated automatically by Inktomi, which also provides its more traditional crawler-based results. iWon gives away daily, weekly and monthly prizes in a marketing model unique among the major services. It launched in Fall 1999.
- Inktomi at www.inktomi.com – Originally, there was an Inktomi search engine at UC Berkeley. The creators then formed their own company with the same name and created a new Inktomi index, which was first used to power HotBot. Now the Inktomi index also powers several other services. All of them tap into the same index, though results may be slightly different. This is because Inktomi provides ways for its partners to use a common index yet distinguish themselves. There is no way to query the Inktomi index directly, as it is only made available through Inktomi’s partners with whatever filters and ranking tweaks they may apply.
- LookSmart at www.looksmart.com – LookSmart is a human-compiled directory of web sites. In addition to being a stand-alone service, LookSmart provides directory results to MSN Search, Excite and many other partners. Inktomi provides LookSmart with search results when a search fails to find a match from among LookSmart’s reviews. LookSmart launched independently in October 1996, was backed by Reader’s Digest for about a year, and then company executives bought back control of the service.
- Lycos at www.lycos.com – Lycos started out as a search engine, depending on listings that came from spidering the web. In April 1999, it shifted to a directory model similar to Yahoo. Its main listings come from the Open Directory project, and then secondary results come from the FAST Search engine. Some Direct Hit results are also used. In October 1998, Lycos acquired the competing HotBot search service, which continues to be run separately.
- MSN Search at http://search.msn.com – Microsoft’s MSN Search service is a LookSmart-powered directory of web sites, with secondary results that come from Inktomi. RealNames and Direct Hit data is also made available.
- Netscape Search at http://search.netscape.com – Netscape Search’s results come primarily from the Open Directory and Netscape’s own “Smart Browsing” database, which does an excellent job of listing “official” web sites. Secondary results come from Google. At the Netscape Netcenter portal site, other search engines are also featured.
- Northern Light at www.northernlight.com – Northern Light is another favorite search engine among researchers. It features a large index of the web, along with the ability to cluster documents by topic. Northern Light also has a set of “special collection” documents that are not readily accessible to search engine spiders. There are documents from thousands of sources, including newswires, magazines and databases. Searching these documents is free, but there is a charge of up to $4 to view them. There is no charge to view documents on the public web — only for those within the special collection. Northern Light opened to general use in August 1997.
- Open Directory at http://dmoz.org– The Open Directory uses volunteer editors to catalog the web. Formerly known as NewHoo, it was launched in June 1998. It was acquired by Netscape in November 1998, and the company pledged that anyone would be able to use information from the directory through an open license arrangement. Netscape itself was the first licensee. Netscape-owner AOL also uses Open Directory information, as does Google and Lycos.
- RealNames at www.realnames.com – The RealNames system is meant to be an easier-to-use alternative to the current web site addressing system. Those with RealNames-enabled browsers can enter a word like “Nike” to reach the Nike web site. To date, RealNames has had its biggest success through search engine partnerships. See the Using RealNames Links page for more information about RealNames.
- Yahoo at www.yahoo.com – Yahoo is the web’s most popular search service and has a well-deserved reputation for helping people find information easily. The secret to Yahoo’s success is human beings. It is the largest human-compiled guide to the web, employing about 150 editors in an effort to categorize the web. Yahoo has well over 1 million sites listed. Yahoo also supplements its results with those from Google (beginning in July 2000, when Google takes over from Inktomi). If a search fails to find a match within Yahoo’s own listings, then matches from Google are displayed. Google matches also appear after all Yahoo matches have first been shown. Yahoo is the oldest major web site directory, having launched in late 1994.
Source: e-book search engine, RIchardus Eko Indrajit