One of the largest and most
comprehensive, indexing over 250 million
Web pages. Scooter, the Web robot updates
constantly. It is a full-text index
that searches the entire HTML
AltaVista has a simple search
and tabs for advanced search, Images,
MP3/Audio & Video. Simple search
may give results from four different
sources. A Real Name System matches
search terms against registered Web
sites, brand names and advertising slogans.
A Real Name address link is displayed
above other hits and will link to a
single match or short list of possible
matches. (Do not use a plus or minus
or field names which will disable results.)
Ask Jeeves provides information from
the answer service, relevant categories
of Web sites as classified with Open
Directory may appear, and the numbered
listings from their Web crawler provide
the bulk of the results. Advanced searching
allows limiting your search by date,
language, Boolean searching and proximity
searches. Both simple and advanced searches
let you limit to title or URL or even
specific domain or Web site. You may
specify a format field by entering a
field name [title,URL, host and links
e.g., anchor, applet, image or text]
then a colon followed by the search
Language capabilities include
limiting Web searches to 25 listed languages
including the recent addition of Japanese,
Chinese and Korean language searching.
Machine translation is available between
English, French, Italian, Portuguese,
German and Spanish. Several more specialty
options include "News" for major news
stories between six hours to 14 days
old; "Discussions" to scan newsgroups;
and "Shopping" to match products with
a wide range of Web merchants.
- In simple searching the default
word is or between words.
- Advanced searching allows using
full Boolean terms: or, and, and not, near.
- Do phrase searching by enclosing
in quotation marks or in many cases
Alta Vista has made phrase searching
- Truncation is not automatic; in
other words to get plurals or other
additional variations at the end of
words, add an asterisk(*) after
a root of at least three letters to
get up to five additional letters.
- + requires that
a term or phrase be present; - denotes that a term not
be present at all.
- Using upper case (capital) letters
forces an exact match. Lower case
will search both upper and lower case.
The hit display shows title,
URL, first two lines, date modified,
size in bytes, and language. Only one
page per Web site appears in the top
results. Below each numbered listing
you may see up to three links: "Translate"
to translate into another language,
"More pages from this site" and "Company
factsheet" takes you to information
about the company that owns the site.
If your subject is broad a "Related
searches" features narrower aspects
of the term at the top of the results
page. A "Related pages" link will search
for additional similar hits.