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Internet Search Engines

Page history last edited by WoW!ter 7 years, 2 months ago



Popular Search engines


Main search engines

Google http://www.google.com/

Bing http://www.Bing.com/

Yahoo! http://www.yahoo.com


Local internationally oriented searcheningines 

Baidu http://www.baidu.com (Chinese)

Yandex  http://www.yandex.com/ (Russian)

Naver http://www.naver.com (Korean)


Smaller comprehensive search engines

Duckduckgo http://duckduckgo.com

Gigablast http://www.gigablast.com/

Blekko http://blekko.com 


Market shares of search engines

Google is the most important search engine in the Netherlands with a of market share of more than 99%. In the Netherlands, Google is synonymous for search!


In the US the picture slightly more balanced, but Google is the most important player, and still gaining in market share. Google had a market share of about 71%, Yahoo! 17%, Bing 10% and Ask of 3%. With a very small percentage remaining for the hundreds of other search engines. In Spain and The Netherlands Google has a market share of 99% of all web search actions. Only in Russia, Japan, South Korea and China Google isn't the search market leader. In Japan Google is still dominated by Yahoo! as a search destination. In China Baidu is the flavour of the day, in Russia Yandex, whereas Naver is the most popular search engine in south Korea.


Why is the market share of search engines important?

Market share determines the income of the search engines, and thus the resources to invest in new developments. The Search Engine market is highly competitive. Who remembers the days that, Altavista or AllTheWeb were the main search destinations on the Web?


Search tips

  • Use the advanced search pages and learn the search engine commands!
  • Vary your search engine
  • Use specific terms
  • Search for specific file types
  • Use more than one search terms
  • Limit on languages
  • Use specific Internet parts


Essential search commands or prefixes


There is more than 1 Google

In Google the results depend amongst other on the country and language settings of the interface. Apart from the standard Google there are also special Google search engines for news, books, scholarly material and blogs. Next to these separate search engines there are many other options (Google options are far from complete)


Searching with Phrases

Works on all search engine similarly (has become the standard in databases such as Web of Science, OvidSP, Scopus and our library catalogue)

Compare [Avian influenza virus] with ["avian influenza virus"]. 


Within strings you can search in Google and Yahoo! with 'wild cards'.

[Christmas * turkeys]. Only Exalead has even better wild card search options, eg. [library catalog*]


AND, OR, NOT are: + | -

Boolean search operators are available on all search engines. AND is the standard. Each space is interpreted as an AND operator.

OR use capitals, or the half pipe symbol: | (eg. [catalogue OR catalog])

Excluding terms is an essential search engine technique ["heavy metal" pollution -music -rock -hardrock]


In the advanced search pages the following boolean operators are presented as follows:

All of these words AND / +
Any of these words OR / |
Exact phrase " "
Exclude these words NOT / -


Limiting on File type

Google: filetype: or ext: (e.g.:[tomatoes ext:pdf], or ["agaricus bisporus" filetype:pdf]

Yahoo!: originurlextension: (e.g.:[cherry tomatoes filetype:pdf]

Live: filetype: (e.g.:[budget university filetype:xls OR filetype:xlsx])


Search within a website

A very powerful command that comes in handy with badly constructed websites, or websites with a limited search engine.

["lecture rooms" site:wur.nl] or when you want to gauge the size of a website [site:library.wur.nl] cf [site:wur.nl]


Search within titles

When you are really overwhelmed by results, limit your search for title words only

[intitle:mushroom] combine this command with a string [intitle:"edible mushroom"] when you have more words, or use the following Google option: [allintitle:agaricus bisporus]


Limit on numerical ranges

Searching for recent years by specifying a year range e.g.:["agaricus bisporus" 2009.,.2012] 

Use three dots!


More Google operators


Scientific Search engines


Additional information

Google better with Google

Google Tips & Tricks

Google Cheatsheets

UC Berkeley Library

Karen Blakeman's search engine comparison schart

Bing Query language

Google Search Engine Evangelism



WG 20130609

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