YJHS Library/Media Center

Write Effective Search Statements
When conducting research using Internet search engines or search directories, your objective is to 1) retrieve as many relevant web sites as possible and 2) eliminate as many irrelevant sites as possible. Developing effective search statements will help you achieve these goals.

Search Engines versus Search Directories
There are distinct differences between search engines and search directories. To truly see the difference, do a search for the same phrase using both a directory and a search engine.

Search Engines
Search engines use automated programs called robots or "spiders" to crawl from URL to URL following links and indexing the text of web pages as it goes. Each search engine creates its index in a different way which is the reason why the same search conducted on different search engines retrieves different documents. The following are examples of search engines: Search Directories
Search directories do not use automated programs to index web pages. Instead, humans review and index the web page that are listed in the directories. Search directories do not include as many web pages in their indices as are listed in search engines. The following are examples of search directories: Meta Search Engines
Meta search engines search the major search engines and directories all at once. The advantage to this type of search is that it saves you from having to search each search engine individually. The problem with some of these meta search engines, however, is that they list "paid" sites first (i.e., sites that have paid a fee to be included at the top of a list). These paid sites may or may not meet your research needs. The following meta search engines have very few paid site listings:
  • Vivisimo
  • Has no paid listings. Organizes retrieved sites in easy-to-use categories.
  • ProFusion
  • Retrieves sites from major search engines as well as the "Invisible Web."

Learn more information about meta search engines by reading "Metacrawlers Or Meta Search Engines" at Search Engine Watch.

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Links to Internet web sites are provided as a service to students conducting online research. The contents of these web sites are not within the control of the Yucca Junior High School Library. If you find a sit e that contains inappropriate, misleading or inaccurate information, please contact the Yucca Junior High School Library, Clovis, New Mexico.

Disclaimer: The Clovis Municipal School District's Web Sites,, identifies resources and links to other websites that would appear useful for our readers. The opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of the host website and not necessarily those of the Clovis Municipal School District. Any Advertising presented on these pages is solely the responsibility of the host site and not the Clovis Municipal School District. Such references and links do not constitute any endorsement by the Clovis Municipal School District of the products nor services of those enterprises. All photographic images and text contained within these webpages are COPYRIGHTED and may not be reproduced, nor utilized in any manner including posting on webpages nor reproduced in printed documents, without prior written consent of Clovis Municipal Schools.

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