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Search individual search sites:
AltaVista | Ask | Google | Lycos | Yahoo!
Search the University of Essex web site
Because there are so many documents available on the World Wide Web, it is often difficult to find what you are looking for. Thankfully, a variety of search engines and web directories have large indexes of pages which you can search from their websites. Most allow you a variety of search options, from searching for a single keyword to Boolean searches for multiple words and phrases, and attempting to answer complex questions. Results of searches are normally presented to you as a web page with a short description of, and links to, other web pages that may contain the information you seek.
There are links on this page to some of the largest search sites - not all of them will have indexed the same pages, so it is often a good idea to try more than one search site, particularly if you do not find what you are looking for in the first search. One of the search sites listed here, Google, also allows you to search a part of the Internet called Usenet: a labyrinth of informal and often anarchic discussion areas which can often be a good source of answers to questions hard to answer elsewhere.
For further information on how search engines work (from a web author's perspective) see A Web Author's Guide to Search Engines.
AltaVista is one of the long-established search engines, and has one of the most comprehensive indexes of all. If you select the 'Discussions' option, you can search Usenet newsgroups - a good place to look for informal discussions and answers to questions to which you can't find answers on the Web.
This merchant no longer partcipates in the affiliate program, so we cannot provide a search box, but you can still use their site.
Google dedicate nearly all of the company's resources to making Google as effective as possible, now indexing over one billion web pages, claimed to be the largest index on the web. Google also contains archives of postings to Usenet newsgroups in its Usenet Groups area. If you don't find what you are looking for on the World Wide Web, then Usenet is often a good place to start a further search.
See also: Google Scholar - for academic searches.
To search Lycos, enter keywords of what you want to search for in the box below, then click on the 'Go Get It' button:
Yahoo! is one of the most popular search sites. It works in a different way to most of the other search engines listed on this page - all pages indexed by Yahoo are sorted into subject headings by humans, so only the most useful sites make it into the Yahoo index. Alternatively, to search for certain words, type what you want to search for in the white box, then click on Search to start searching for it. For example, enter essex towns into the box to bring up links to sites displaying information about towns in Essex.