Munich in English - selected by independent Locals for Cosmopolitans, Newcomers and Residents - since 1989

back to overview

June 2001

Engine Trouble

A guide to internet search engines

For many, searching the Internet is as enjoyable as preparing tax returns—hours spent poring over page after page with little reward. Surprisingly, it appears that few have discovered the “multi-search engine.” Why use Yahoo or Alta Vista exclusively when you can query about a dozen—or hundreds when given the option of “customizing” your search—engines at once? Currently, there are more than 3,500 on the World Wide Web. A brief survey of the Net reveals that surfers are most satisfied with the following multi-search sites. Dogpile displays results from such “big guys” as Lycos (which has huge data base that is updated hourly), Yahoo, Alta Vista, Looksmart and Direct Hit. Simple design and speedy results are found here. Click on the “Snoops” function for an up-to-the-minute peak at what topics others are seeking. Known as “The Search Satellite,” this multi-engine offers the chance to use one engine at a time. No frills, no cartoons, bells or whistles distract from the tiny search window. This is thought to be the “king” of multi-engines. Fast, efficient searches of 14 sites retrieve concise information. Choose your language on ixquick’s homepage. If you are searching for something in German, ixquick will use German engines.

Another oft-mentioned site,, requires surfers to select a category before conducting their search. However, this is the site’s only interesting feature. Perhaps it is the unstoppable pop-up window of Jennifer Love Hewitt that attracts the male masses to this below-average Web tool.

Those who become boggled by Boolean search techniques should bear in mind that, of the myriad commands available, there are only three words you really need to know to refine your search. Most search engines respond to AND (or +), OR and NOT. For example: type in bingANDcrosby for the singer, bingNOTcrosby for the cherry variety and bingORcrosby for the whole Crosby clan. Finding the information you are looking for need not be taxing in 2001. <<<

tell a friend