Features - Search Engine Comparison Chart

Diana Botluk, author of The Legal List: Research on the Internet, has written extensively about online legal research.  Diana was named one of the top online legal researchers in T.R. Halvorson’s Law of the Super Searchers: The Online Secrets of Top Legal Researchers (CyberAge Books, 2000).  With over 20 years of experience in online research, she has designed and delivered many special workshops and demonstrations in legal research and online resources for a variety of continuing legal education and continuing library education organizations.  Diana earned her J.D. in 1984 from Catholic University Law School.

This chart is part of Diana Botluk’s Power Searching on the Web seminar. The Power Searching seminar outline is located at http://websearchschool.com/powersearching.

© 2004 Diana Botluk - Please contact Diana for permission to use this material.


 


 

Searching Features

 

 

 

AlltheWeb

 

 

AltaVista

 

Google

 

Lycos

 

MSN

 

Teoma

 

Wisenut

 

Yahoo!

Inclusive Terms

Default

 

Advanced:  All of the Words

 

Default

and

+

 

Advanced: All the Words

 

Default

 

Advanced: All the Words

Default

 

Advanced: All of the Words

Default

Default

 

Advanced: Must

Default

 

WiseSearch: All

Default

 

Advanced: All

Alternative Terms

OR

 

Advanced:

or

Any on drop down box

 

 

OR

 

Advanced:

Any on drop down box

 

OR in Boolean box

OR

 

Advanced:  At Least One

OR

 

Advanced:  Any of the Words

OR

OR

not supported

OR

 

Advanced:  Any of the Words

Phrases

Quotes

 

Advanced: phrase on drop down box

Quotes

 

Advanced:

phrase

Quotes

 

Advanced:

phrase

Quotes

 

Advanced:  Exact Phrase

Quotes

 

Advanced:  Exact Phrase

Find this Phrase checkbox

Quotes

 

WiseSearch: Exact Phrase

Quotes

 

Advanced: Exact Phrase

Exclusion

 - (minus sign)

 

Advanced:

andnot

not include on drop down box (Filters)

- (minus sign)

 

NOT

 

Advanced: NOT in Boolean box

- (minus sign)

 

Advanced:

without

- (minus sign)

 

Advanced:

None of the Words

Advanced:  AND NOT when using a Boolean expression

- (minus sign)

 

Advanced: must not

- (minus sign)

 

WiseSearch: without

Advanced: none

 

Truncation

no

 

 

 

Automatic stemming in some instances

no

Enable word stemming on advanced pg

no

no

no

Search by Levels

yes

 

 

no

yes

yes

no

only with suggested refinements

no

no

Restrictors (Search by Fields)

language, domain, IP address,

file format, date.

 

Will support the following keyword prefixes:

site:

url:

link:

title:

 

date, file type, location

 

Will support the following prefixes:

domain:

host:

link:

title:

url:

domain, language, date, page level, file format, occurences

 

Supports the following prefixes:

intitle:

allintitle:

site:

inurl:

filetype:

 

Putting ~ before a word searches for synonyms

 

Search for numeric range by placing two periods between numbers

domain, language, title, url

region, language, domain, page level, file type, media type

title, url, language, domain, region, date

 

Will support the following prefixes:

intitle:

inurl:

geoloc:

site:

beforedate:

afterdate:

betweendate:

 

no

date, site, domain, country, language, file format

 

 


 

Results Display Features

 

 

 

AlltheWeb

 

 

AltaVista

 

Google

 

Lycos

 

MSN

 

Teoma

 

Wisenut

 

Yahoo!

 

Integrated

Directory Results

no

 

Tab at top

not integrated

not integrated

 

 

a few featured sites, depending on search

no, but provides suggested sites for your search

sort of – categories appear with results, but these don’t lead to a directory, just suggested searches with abridged results

yes

 

Directory Provided by:

 

 

Open Directory

Open Directory

Open Directory

MSN

 

 

Yahoo

 

Customized

Customize

 

Settings

Preferences

only slightly using Advanced

My Preferences

slightly in Preferences

Set Preferences

Preferences

 

Clustered/ Compressed

yes

 

yes

yes

not apparent

Can be toggled on Advanced Search page

yes

yes

yes

 

Suggested Searches/ Refinements

no

yes

no

yes – Narrow Your Search

no

yes

WiseGuide

yes – Related directly under search box

 

Similar Searches

no

 

no

yes – Similar Pages

no

no

no

no

no

 

Other Notable Features

Use Customize Preferences to personalize a wide variety of features

Translates results

Cached results

 

Will open results in second window if preferences are set that way

 

Translates results

 

 

 

 

Will open results in a second window if preferences are set that way

Sneak-a-Peek opens a small box with results page right in the middle of results list

Will open results in second window

 

Cached results