Introduction to The Internet and The World Wide Web

Before you begin:
There is a wealth of information on the Web. Current information, U.S. government information, popular culture, full-text versions of books, business and company information, consumer and medical information, and archives are all available on the Web.
Without a well-defined search plan, it would be virtually impossible to locate specific information, even if that information were available on the Web.

Here, we'll focus on search tools that are evolving to meet the needs of many types of users.

Search Tutorials Directories Channels Virtual Libraries
Search Engines Meta-Search Tools Intelligent Agents Search Strategies

Search Tutorials

There are good search tutorials on the Web. The following Web sites provide good overviews of how to get started searching the World Wide Web:


A directory is a topical list of Internet resources, arranged hierarchically. Directories are meant to be browsed, but they can also be searched. Directories differ from search engines in one major way -- the human element involved in collecting and updating the information.

Major Directories on the Web

Information about directories on the Web.


Channels are directories with a difference.

Some tools bring together different types of resources (chat groups, statistics, Web pages, and other types of information) into subject categorizations called modules, channels, or sections, depending on the tool that provides the service. Here are some examples:

Virtual Libraries

Virtual libraries are directories that contain collections of resources that librarians and information specialists have carefully chosen and organized in a logical way. The Web pages included in a subject category are usually browsing. Most include query interfaces in order to perform simple searches. Virtual libraries are great places to begin your research.

Search Engines

A search engine, in the context of the World Wide Web, is a program that seeks out, visits, and indexes URLs. The resulting index is searched for keywords or phrases entered by a user. The engine returns hyperlinks to sources whose description, title, or content match the words or phrase.

Major search engines on the Web

Information about search engines on the Web

Meta-Search Tools

Meta-search tools allow you to search several search engines simultaneously; they are often called parallel-search tools or unified search interfaces.

Paralell-Search Tools

All-in-one Search Tools

Intelligent Agents  

Introduction to the Internet
& the Web
Using a Browser Email Finding Information
Glossary HTML Telnet & FTP Issues Search Strategies
This material has been prepared to accompany the book "Internet Today: Email, Searching & the World Wide Web" ISBN 1-887902-43-0, by Ernest Ackermann and Karen Hartman, and published by Franklin, Beedle and Associates, Incorporated, Wilsonville OR, ©1999. No part of this may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transcribed without permission of the publisher. Feel free to browse this Web site. Please write to Ernie or Karen to let us know if you make a link to this site.

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