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Finding Information with Firefox

This chapter works with Firefox's search and find components. The World Wide Web is vast and complex with literally billions of web pages to choose from, but sophisticated search engines such as Google are making it easier to organize and find content of interest.
This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

  • Firefox Search Engines

  • Using the Location Bar

  • Using the Search Bar

  • Adding Search Engines to the Search Bar

  • Switching Search Engines

  • Working with Firefox's Keywords System

  • Working with the Find Bar

  • Storing Searches

  • Navigating the History

  • Searching Secrets for Power Users

In this chapter we will work with Firefox's search and find components. The World Wide Web is vast and complex with literally billions of web pages to choose from, but sophisticated search engines such as Google are making it easier to organize and find content of interest.

Firefox Search Engines

The following is a listing of popular search engines. For each of these sites, I did a search for my name (Peter Hipson):

  • Google (http://www.google.com)—Google is a search engine that is very effective and easy to use. Unlike some search engines, Google doesn't offer a lot of fluff such as advertising, news, and such; instead it has a simple user interface that allows for searches—and that's about all. Google is supported mostly by paid advertising, which is presented with the search results. My name search returned just over 800 hits.

  • Yahoo! (http://www.yahoo.com)—Using Yahoo! opens a wide vista of features and functionalities. This site provides searching and more. With Yahoo!, you'll sees news, advertising, email, and many other features that Yahoo! hopes adds value to the user experience and promotes return usage. My name search returned about 1,700 hits.

  • MSN (http://www.msn.com)—Microsoft created an online service called MSN (Microsoft Network) as a precursor to its foray into the world of the Internet. As strange as it seems, Microsoft almost missed the Internet boat, only jumping onboard at the last minute! MSN offers news and many other services that make it a favorite home page for many Internet users. MSN's search-only URL is at http://search.msn.com. My name search returned just under 5,000 hits.

  • AOL (http://www.aol.com)—It seems that people either love or hate AOL. I tried an AOL search and got...only about 50 pages of hits. My name search didn't even find my own website in the first page! AOL's search is linked to Google.

  • Excite Network (http://www.excite.com)—Excite looks a lot like other multifunctionality search sites, in that it offers news, sports, and other features. My name search returned only 72 hits.

  • AskJeeves (http://www.ask.com)—Like Google, Ask Jeeves is primarily a search site and provides little other material. My name search returned more than 3,900 matches.

  • InfoSpace (http://www.infospace.com)—InfoSpace specializes in searches for people and companies. It's your best bet for searching telephone records and other public record caches.

  • AltaVista (http://www.altavista.com)—Like Google and Ask Jeeves, AltaVista is mostly a search site, with little news or other information. AltaVista's a well- respected site, though, and its searches work well. My name search returned about 1,600 hits.

  • AllTheWeb (http://www.alltheweb.com)—With a look and feel similar to Google and Ask Jeeves, AllTheWeb is a basic search site. My name search returned about 1,400 records.

  • HotBot (http://www.hotbot.com)—Another search-only site, HotBot uses either Google or Ask Jeeves to perform its searches.

  • Lycos (http://www.lycos.com)—Similar to HotBot, Lycos uses another search site (AskJeeves) to do its work. Although AskJeeves returned thousands of matches on my name, Lycos only gave me a little over 100.

  • Netscape (http://www.netscape.com)—These people don't give up, you have to say that! Netscape took a beating from Microsoft in the browser wars but managed to bounce back as a search engine and an ISP. Netscape uses Google to do its searches, and my name search returned an unknown number of results.

  • Teoma (http://www.teoma.com)—This is another search-only site, without news or other nonrelated features. Teoma returned about 4,000 hits on my name search.

Of all these search engines, is one the best? Well, the answer to this is that it depends on what you are looking for. With my name search, most hits were book related. However, I've done other things.

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Last Update: November 17, 2020