Effective Internet Search

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Effective Internet Search: About the Book

Search Engine Features Control Center

by Judith Gill

The 1-stroke search engine

Overview

One of the truly unique features in this book is the powerful electronic, generic template of search engine features Ed has created specially for you to:

  • Conveniently access all search engine features from one central location.
  • Experiment with the numerous search engine features explored in this book.
  • Easily compare and evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of various search engines.
  • Explore cross-links between chapters and their related Reference Manual sections, examining the pattern of search engine features in varying levels of detail.
  • Permit comprehensive interlinking throughout the book.
  • Provide you with an invaluable electronic reference manual.
How it works

The genius of the Search Engine Features Control Center is that it allows you to:

  1. Access all search engine features from one central location. From here you can easily try out different search engine features, experimenting with how different search engines specifically implement them. You move from master tables in the Features Control Center to either: (a) explanations in the chapters, or to (b) detailed applications in the Reference Manual.
  2. Switch back and forth between explanations of search engine features, and then try them out to see how they actually work.

To help you with the above, Ed has created a special internal page navigator bar, which is repeated at several points on each page of each Reference Manual section. He provides a more detailed explanation of its use in the section below.

General AlltheWeb AltaVista Copernic Google MSN

Key takeaway: The Search Engine Features Control Center is a powerful and flexible tool to help you quickly and easily locate information wherever it is located in the book, making it a handy reference manual now and in the future.

For more information on our unique Search Engine Features Control Center, please continue reading Ed's more detailed explanation.

Search Engine Features Control Center in-depth

By Ed Baylin
Rationale & approach

If you study the Table of Contents, you will note certain patterns of headers and sub-headers repeating themselves, although in slightly different ways. This occurs when the treatment of detailed (implementation) and conceptual levels of search engine features are explained in different sections of the book.

You may also notice that very few headers in the Table of Contents carry the names of the search engines featured in this book. That's because the treatment of their features is handled from a top-down, general point of view, using certain abstractions to create a generic, multi-level/multi-angled template of features applicable to all search engines. The search engine names generally appear only below the level of the Table of Contents.

This generic templating approach has led to "conceptual prototypes" of specific search engines that tend to apply to other search engines as well. Because the book has been written from this search-engine-independent viewpoint, it helps make it adaptable to explaining or incorporating any individual search engine in a modular fashion.

The good news is that taking this approach greatly simplifies your learning in that  understanding any one search engine from a general perspective, allows you to apply this knowledge to them all. Further, treatment of subjects from this perspective is what I, Ed Baylin, do best because this is my research specialty area (see Author information). 

Generic organization of search engine features

The Search Engine Features Control Center is a multi-level matrix (table) of search engine features from which you can link to:

  • Conceptual explanations of search engine features, cross-referenced to the row header for each feature.

  • Explanations of implementation details for each search engine cell in that row, which is linked to one of the book Reference Manual sections giving the details for that search engine.

As shown in the Table of Contents, the first two levels are:

User Interfaces Features Matrices
  • Search entry interfaces
  • Findings display and handling interfaces
  • Search support: user tool interfaces
Search Filters Features Matrices
  • Term-based search filters

  • Metadata-based search filters

Non-Filter Parameters Features Matrices
  • Findings display and handling parameters

  • User preference setting parameters

You can also see a third level in the sample sub-matrix that follows, corresponding to the "Search entry interfaces" matrix in the above table. 

All the cells in rows other than the column header cells are hyperlinked to book explanations at different levels of detail or abstraction. Thus, the Features Control Center can be viewed as a place for quickly accessing the book and using it as a convenient reference manual. It also acts as a plug-in gate to further networks of book hyperlinks running throughout the book and interconnecting it bi-directionally. For instance:

  • If you connect to the conceptual explanation of the "Support for operator parameters" item, you will be taken to one of the book chapters. From that point, you can choose another link to go to the top of the particular Reference Manual section that deals with the implementation details for that feature.

  • From there, you can choose another link to take you back to the chapter whence you came, or you can click on one of the search engines in the internal navigation bar to that section, seen below.

    General AlltheWeb AltaVista Copernic Google MSN

You can try out this navigation bar in one of our Book Excerpts on this website. It allows you to quickly access different search engines in the Reference Manual section to try features out or to link to explanations in the chapters.

Note: Tutorials on how to use "Book hyperlinks" are found in both e-book volumes 1 and 2.

Example: one of the sub-matrices

Note: In the active version, all cells with blue text act as hyperlinks to the relevant section of the book. For obvious reasons, all hyperlinks have been deactivated below.

FEATURE SEARCH ENGINE

Simple
Web
Search
Interfaces

AlltheWeb

AltaVista

Copernic

Google

MSN

Control center Present on all simple search interfaces Present on all simple search interfaces Not applicable, since has only one starting interface Present on all simple search interfaces Present on various search interfaces

Support
for operator
parameters

Has some limitations in simple search Has some limitations in simple search Basic Boolean operators only Same as in advanced search Yes
Intelligent
avoidance
of formal
parameter
entry
Spelling, conversion calculator Spelling, various structured database lookups, etc. Spelling Sophisticated, incl. linguistic assistance, structured database lookups, etc. Spelling and other language assistance, calculator, lookups
Advanced
Web
Search
Interfaces

AlltheWeb

AltaVista

Copernic

Google

MSN

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes, Search Builder
Subject
Directory
Search
Interfaces

AlltheWeb

AltaVista

Copernic

Google

MSN

No Yes Indirectly through search categories Yes Yes

Specialized
Search
Entry
Interfaces

AlltheWeb

AltaVista

Copernic

Google

MSN

Multi-media
file search
interfaces
Yes, for all media types Yes, for all media types Indirectly through categories For image files only Yes, some indirectly via directory
News
document
search
interfaces
Yes Yes Indirectly through categories Yes Yes, and indirectly MSNBC
Other non-Web
Internet
application
interfaces
No No Indirectly through categories News discussion groups E-mail, chat, etc.  via MSN
People,
business,
& map
search
interfaces
No Yellow pages, people finder, maps Indirectly through categories Mainly available through intelligent features Yellow pages, white pages, maps
Specialized
topic search
interfaces
No No Indirectly through categories Several Yes, many, via MSN directory

FREE SEARCH HELP

On Site Resources

Search Tool Guide

BUY THE BOOK
ABOUT THE BOOK
FAQ's
Audiences
User Benefits
Overview & Contents
Book Excerpts
Awards-Reviews
Updates
OTHER
Contact Us
Authors
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FREE SEARCH HELP

On Site Resources

Search Tool Guide

BUY THE BOOK
ABOUT THE BOOK
FAQ's
Audiences
User Benefits
Overview & Contents
Book Excerpts
Awards-Reviews
Updates
OTHER
Contact Us
Authors
Discussion Topics
Sales Affiliates


Effective Internet Search: E-Searching Made Easy!       Baylin Systems, Inc., 2006