Date:         Tue, 26 Sep 2000 23:30:38 +0000
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 26 Sep 00 - MetaSearch Tools
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
               TOURBUS Volume 6, Number 20 -- 26 Sep 2000
[ Tip: Use a monospace font like Courier when reading this message ]
    _________ ____________ ________ __________ _____________ ___ _
   /         |            /        |          |             /   | \
  |         ASSESS Your HEALTH and See How You COMPARE!    /    |  \
  |__________|__________/__________|__________|___________/_____|   \
 /                                                              |----\
|  Are you as healthy as your peers? Take the HealthQuotient    |////|
|  test, a simple questionnaire designed by WellMed doctors.    |////|
| -- Register as a NEW USER and click on HealthQuotient.        |////|
| -- Answer the short set of questions. (always confidential)   |////|
| -- Get a HealthQuotient between 0 and 200 -- and the average  |////|
|    score for your age group and gender.                       |////|
| -- View a report summarizing your health status, identifying  |////|
|    health risks, and recommended actions to minimize risks.   |////|
|   |////|
    /   \  /   \                                             /   \
    \___/  \___/  T h e   I n t e r n e t   T o u r B u s    \___/
    FIVE YEARS of Searchable Archives at !!
     TODAY'S TOURBUS TOPICS: MetaSearch Tools
In today's TOURBUS ride, we'll visit some meta-searchers... search
engines that search other search engines.  Why would that be useful?
Read on!
+-------> Not Looking for a Commitment? Neither are we! <-------+
          Get 4 books for 4 bucks with NO COMMITMENT
               from Quality Paperback Book Club.

Click Here for Details 
 Simplify your Internet tour with UCmore, the free "anti-search"
 tool!  Want to find more of the kind of sites that you like?
 Having trouble finding them on search engines? Download UCmore
 and watch it sort related sites into categories displayed right
 on your browser!  Click on a site you like, and you're there!
                   Download UCmore Today 
Dogpile is the first metasearch site we'll visit today.  DogPile takes
your keywords and bounces them off many of the web's most popular
search tools, such as AltaVista, Direct Hit, Google,,
InfoSeek, LookSmart, Lycos, and Yahoo. 
When you press the "Fetch" button, Arfie the Dogpile mascot searches
three search engines at a time. The requests are made in parallel and
results are displayed as they come back.  If Arfie does not get at
least 10 documents matching your query, it will automatically move to
the next three engines until all are searched.  You can query more
search engines by pressing the "Next Set of Search Engines" button at
the bottom of the page.
Dogpile PROs:
- Key benefit is comprehensiveness. Dogpile returns the top 10
  results from each engine queried and does not weed out duplicates.
- Only the hits from the fastest-responding search sites are
  displayed in the initial results.
Dogpile CONs:
- Only the hits from the fastest-responding search sites are
  displayed in the initial results.  Yes, this is both good and bad.
  It does result in a faster answer, but there's no guarantee that
  the BEST search engines will respond the quickest.
- Cannot request more than ten results from each engine, or change
  the timeout value.
- Includes several marginal engines such as Sprinks, Kanoodle and
You can customize the Dogpile search, but only to the extent of specifying
which engines to search, and in what order.  This might be helpful if you
want to eliminate advertiser-sponsored search sites (ie: Goto, FindWhat)
which share per-click revenues with Dogpile.
Like Dogpile, MetaCrawler sends your query to over a dozen popular
search engines, and gives you the combined results. MetaCrawler's key
benefit is efficiency. MetaCrawler returns the most relevant results
from across the Web in a very efficient way, searching AltaVista,
Excite, Google, Infoseek, LookSmart, Lycos, WebCrawler, GoTo,
DirectHit, and others. 
The default behavior is to collate the results from all engines and
present them in Relevance order.  Another option is to view results by
Site, where the results are segmented into Commercial, Educational,
General, Organizational, North American, and European.  Or you can
view by Source, and get the top ten results from each search engine.
The "View by Source" results look very much like Dogpile's, except
that MetaCrawler gives you ALL the results from ALL the engines on one
Customizing MetaCrawler
It's easy to customize the way MetaCrawler works.  Just click the
Customize tab on the MetaCrawler home page, and you can control many
different aspects of MetaCrawler's look and operation:
- Choose a new color theme
- Select which search engines to use
- Filter results based on specific domains, regions or countries
- Set maximum amount of time to wait for results
- Change the number of results per page
- Specify how many results per search engine
- View results by relevance, site or source
MetaCrawler uses cookies to remember your preferred settings, so next
time you return to the site, you won't have to set the preferences
You've probably guessed that I prefer MetaCrawler over DogPile.  But I
still recommend that you try both and see which works best for you.
The choice of a search tool depends on your personal needs, your style
of research, and maybe the phase of the moon.  If you want to dig
deeper, there are other metasearch tools you can try.  Here are some
that I recommend:   
So should you head straight for a metasearch tool instead of a plain
old search engine next time you want to find something online?  My
answer is no.  I think it's best to choose one good search engine,
such as AltaVista, Google, Lycos, etc. and learn to use it well.
Each search tool has specific strengths and features that can help you
pinpoint your searches in a way that the metasearch tools cannot. If
you don't find what you're looking for with your favorite search
engine, then by all means use a metasearcher to add breadth to your
That's all for now, see you next time!  --Bob Rankin
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================

   The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2238
     Copyright 1995-2000, Rankin & Crispen - All rights reserved
 Like Tourbus?  Recommend It!  You could Win $10K or a Sony DVD Player
 Help the hungry, poor and sick - for free!
      Subscribe, Signoff, Archives, Free Stuff and More at the
              Tourbus Website -

TOURBUS - 26 SEP 00 - MetaSearch Tools, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
TOURBUS Site Search