Date:         Wed, 10 Dec 1997 01:30:36 -0500
From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 09 Dec 1997 - Website Finders

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           TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPIC: Website Finders

Several times on the TOURBUS, we've highlighted search engine sites,
but for the most part, they've been general purpose search tools
such as AltaVista or "meta" searchers like Dogpile.  Today, I've got
two special purpose search sites for you.  But first, a word from our
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If you've ever had trouble finding the website for a particular
company or organization, read on.  Sometimes you know part of a web
address or a company name, but without the exact web address, you can't
get anywhere.  Is there a hyphen in the name?  Do you spell out the
company name, or use initials?  Does it end with COM, NET or ORG?

The rapid growth of the Internet means common and easy to use web
site addresses (called domains) are becoming harder to obtain.  Case in
point: Last month, I pointed TOURBUS readers to, which I
thought was the address for the American Medical Association.  Bzzzzt!
Wrong answer - that's the American MARKETING Association.  (The docs
have set up shop at

WebSitez and WebFinder are two "website finder" tools that can help when
you're looking for the website of a company or organization.  Instead
of looking at the information stored inside a website, these tools
search a large database of domain names using keywords you supply.


Your postal carrier may not mind if you misspell a word in an address,
but on the net it's a different story.  If you type even one wrong
character in a web address, you'll be greeted with a cryptic message
such as 'The server does not have a DNS entry'. WebSitez gives users a
friendly and fast place to turn for help when they have only part of
a name.  Pop on over to


...enter in part of a company or domain name and presto, Websitez returns all
the matches.  If you own a domain name, you can also use it to see if
anyone is "poaching", or using a domain name that's suspiciously similar
to yours.  You can use keywords to search for the website you're after, or
just browse through the WebSitez directory, which lists sites for various
topics such as Animals, Business, Games, Health, Music and Politics.

WebSitez is fast, but it has one significant flaw:  You can only enter
one keyword to search for.  That means you'll probably have a hard time
finding an organization with multiple words in its name, especially if
the names are common words.

For example, if you search for "American" or "Medical" or "Association",
you'll get thousands of irrelevant hits.  However, I did find that in
some cases, you can simply leave out the blank between the words and get
better results.


WebFinder is a little-known but useful tool that's similar to WebSitez.
Brought to you by InterNIC, the domain registration company, WebFinder
boasts a complete database that includes military, government and sites
outside the USA.  Visit


...and you can enter one or more keywords describing the site.  You can
also specify a physical location with or without the keywords.  So in
addition to finding websites associated with an organization, you can
ask for a list of all websites that are based in a city or country.

If you want to find travel-related sites based in Kuala Lumpur, this
is the tool to use!  (Pay attention to upper/lower case in that WebFinder
address - it's important.)

Which One Is Best?

It really depends on your needs.  WebSitez can find sites if you know
just a piece of the domain name, but limits you to a single keyword.
WebFinder has a larger database, supports multi-keyword searching, but
sometimes takes a long time to respond.  Try them both and see which
one suits you best.

See you next time!  --Bob

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