Prompted by the expertise of some of our guests in being able to find anything at the drop of a hat I wondered if a slightly off-topic technical post might be of some use?
I remember the days (94/95) when the choice of search engine was between Alta Vista & Lycos. Excite was also around back then but I never used it. Others came along later, such as HotBot, WebCrawler, Ask Jeeves and of course the now almost universal, Google.
I have no idea how these things work but I’m assuming that the more an engine is used, the smarter it gets. That’s why I use only Google nowadays for general searches. The Firefox drop-down search box is an essential tool and that gets used for Google and all other searches including things like – Wikipedia, Amazon, You Tube, Dictionary, IMDb and so on. For more complex matters I have an Athens log-in and can access the full OED as well as other lengthier tomes like biographies and encyclopedias.
There are still today more search engines available than just Google, it has not yet wiped out or bought out all the competitors and I wondered if anyone still uses any other search engines and if so which ones and what are they particularly good at?
I also wondered about the ways you can refine your searches in Google. All those plus and minus signs and using speech marks and stuff. I use these very rarely but perhaps I should use them more? Do they actually help?
Is there a whole other world of blog searching?
Too many unanswered questions. Why not use this post as an opportunity to spill the beans, tell us old dinosaurs (me anyway) how to get more from our searching!
Comments covering both English and Polish searching would be welcome.
PS – Here’s a history of search engines –