General Search Engines
Alta Vista is an older type of search engine. Noteworthy features include the Internet's first Web index (1995), the first multilingual search capabilities on the Internet, Image, Audio, and Video search capabilities. It boasts the most advanced Internet search features and capabilities: multimedia search, translation & language recognition, as well as specialty search. In recognition of these achievements it has been awarded 61 search-related patents, more than any other Internet search company. A help option is available on the main page. To activate a binary search, one can click on Advanced Search and follow the guidelines. Results are displayed automatically but the display order can be refined under Advanced Search. As with Yahoo!, sub-searches are possible by modifying the initial search box which shows up on top of the page after displaying search results. AltaVista offers language choice by displaying 24 flags. By clicking on the flags one is given choices of that country’s language(s), e.g. German, French and Italian for Switzerland. To encourage international use there is a Babel Fish Translation option on the search page. That feature, as any translation service, is of minimal help and should be used with extreme caution as to the quality of results. Searches are organized by web, images and news.
“Fredericksburg” also returned 20,700,000 results. Automatic pop-ups were restricted to Fredericksburg, TX ads. There was no automatic sub-search as with Yahoo.
“Fastnacht” yielded 11,600,000 just like yahoo did. The images seemed to be a little livelier than yahoo!’s.
AltaVista is a very sleek and efficient search engine based mostly on results rather than on extensive graphics.
Yahoo! has access to a huge database. Yahoo!’s noteworthy features among others are mail, IM, what’s cool, what’s new, headlines, random links, picks of the week, Yahoo for the day and much more. It offers a Yahoo! help link for those who need additional help. Under binary searches Yahoo! accepts AND, OR, NOT and AND NOT, but these words must be capitalized. Results are displayed in an automatic order. Sub-searches are possible by modifying the initial search box which shows up on top of the page after displaying search results. Yahoo! is well suited for international research since it offers multiple language search choices under preference. Choices include most European and several Asian languages and allow results in all languages. Language preferences are currently unavailable for Yahoo! Various services are available, such as translation, maps; searches for images, videos, people, products, news, jobs and more are an additional option.
“Fredericksburg” yielded 20,700,000 results. Automatic sub-search options included sponsor ads, references to Fredericksburg TX and VA as well as the Civil War and battlefields. Helpful was a gray pop-up bar suggesting useful sub-searches in addition to those already on the page. I had choices to check out the web, images, local, shopping and more.
“Fastnacht” showed 11,600,000 results with Wikipedia topping the list. Images were astonishingly boring and yielded neither any educational material that I was hoping to find nor the usual gaudy and raucous pictures of a festival that normally depicts Germans happily out of control.
This is a very comprehensive and well-organized search engine that is very useful for any general and specific search. I recommend it without reservation. Image results appear pre-screened.
Germany Crawler is an English language California based leading Germany search engine and an online business directory. It features 11 search categories, including business, TV, travel and a Wiki. A help link is available on the Preferences page. Binary searches are made easy under Advanced Search by answering the questions in the correct box. Search results are displayed automatically and can be changed under Advanced Search as to number of results per page, language type of file and search within a site or domain. Preferences offer three levels of safe search filtering. Sub-searches are easy: as with Yahoo! and AltaVista the search box on top of page shows current search results. One can modify search results there. There are over 40 languages to choose from both for search and display. However, clicking on options to change the display even to German was unsuccessful. It should be noted that there is a notice at the bottom of the Preferences page cautioning that language changes might not save if you have disabled cookies in your browser. A translator is offered under other free tools which also include a world clock, semantic discovery and dialing codes.
“Fredericksburg” showed 5,110,000 results, far less than the other two search engines but still plenty of information. Related searches appeared at the bottom of the page, including fredericksburg.com and … the SPCA out of all things!
“Fastnacht” returned 652,000 answers which is surprising given the fact that this is a German word and holiday. What was interesting, though was the fact that a message popped up that redirected me to “Fasnacht” which is a spelling variance of a local dialect. Being used to Google, I was not used to be redirected unless I actually misspelled a word.
I was surprised that the Home page was in English and that I was not able to change language easily. For those who do not wish - or not know how - to reset their browser options this might prove frustrating. However, even in English the site offers an abundance of opportunities to research Germany in addition to serving as a general search engine.