Search Engines

A search engine is a means of looking through a database of web pages for topics or words of interest.
Two basic types of search engines
Classify sites by category.  This is usually done by people submitting sites for certain categories.  These submissions are then reviewed and placed appropriately.
Generally have less "hits" (matches), but what is found is appropriate.
Key Words
Searches are done by either intentionally placed key words or whole text listings.
Results in many more hits, but they can be far off base.
To compare try typing "Cancer Signs" into this databases.
Search engine technology is advancing. 
Some search only page titles, and others do better jobs at ranking relevancy.
Hybrid engines (e.g. search many other engines at once.
You can find lists of search engines simply by pushing the search button.
Advanced Searches
Each search engine has its own rules for multiple word searches, and there is usually information on how it works close to the search box.
Example Yahoo
Click on the options box next to the search, then help, and the query syntax.
You will see that you can use "and," "or," and "-" (not) to restrict your search, in addition to other options (this would help with the cancer signs, you could try "cancer signs -zodiac").  You may also use wildcards and require phrases.
Example Alta Vista
Alta Vista has similar options (look in the help index), and you can also "refine" your searches by category after the first stage.


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