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searching on the net

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searching within a website

Our current best advice for searching within a website, without search facilities, is to download the Google toolbar for use with MSIE. This toolbar includes a facility to search within individual sites. In my view, this is of general use. The Google toolbar also provides a very crude idea of the popularity of a website.

google toolbar from
part of the googlebar from

There is an equivalent toolbar for the Mozilla Firefox browser. The download page at provides options to download this extension for different versions of Firefox.
Both Google-type toolbars are customizable.

The Google toolbar could be regarded as intrusive, as google can extract search preference data from its use. However, Google is generally an organisation trusted by its users. If you prefer not to use a Google toolbar for searches, although a little more tiresome, searching within a particular site is possible using theGoogle search page as follows:

enter: site:website searchterm/s

example: logic aristotle

searching on the worldwide web

There are many, many search-engines on the net.

google About Lycos AltaVista
Yahoo! Looksmart All the Web Voila (French)




Scrub the Web



Ask Jeeves




To use your net-searching tool effectively, here are some helpful tips:

When searching for items, the more search words (search terms or keywords) you type in, the less hits you will receive.
If searching on a single word, you are liable to be given hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of hits. This is not very helpful, because there is no way you can read all those sites.

On google, if you type in several words, the search engine will assume that you want all of the words in the document for which you are searching. (Some search engines require the capitalised word AND between each item; but AND is usually assumed.)
If you want documents with either or any of your search word (rather than necessarily containing all of your search words), then you separate them with the capitalised word OR. You may use OR more than once.

example: statistics inflation OR inflate
This will give you any documents with statistics and inflation, also documents with statistics and inflate, and documents with statistics and inflation and inflate. Without the OR, you would only find those documents containing all three terms.
If you want to find a phrase, you surround the phrase with double quotation marks: “the planet Venus”.

Sometimes it is useful to get rid of documents containing a particular word. For example , you may wish to find documents about the planet Mars. When you just enter the word Mars, to your dismay, you will find large numbers of documents concerning the Mars Corporation and chocolate. In such a case, you would type in Mars –chocolate
that is: Mars space –chocolate.
Not that you can also use this feature to limit which types of documents are included in the search results. For instance –pdf will prevent the result from contining .pdf files.


Some directory search engines provide hierarchical search results. You type in a subject name/word and the search engine then gives you a selection of sub-sections from which to choose results. I don’t use this method of searching myself, but less experienced researchers sometimes prefer it. Some of this type of search engine also give (human) editorial comments on the documents that they find for you.

dmoz Many normal searech engines, including google, draw at least some of their results from dmoz.
Yahoo directoryclick to return to the index


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