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The Newest and Best Search Engine Tools

by Evelyn Beck

YOU MAY NEVER have met Archie, but perhaps you’ve spent some time with Gopher or Jeeves. Looking back through search engine history is a bit like browsing through a little black book. It was 1990 when Archie, the first search engine, premiered. Then came Gopher and then many more, including Excite, Yahoo, WebCrawler, Lycos, InfoSeek, AltaVista, Looksmart, Hotbot, Ask Jeeves, Northern Light, and MSN Search. Some of these are still around, some were consumed by other companies, and some folded. The current dominant force in search engines, Google, debuted in 1998. More recent entrants into the field include Gigablast, Teoma, Nutch, and Dispie. There are also meta search engines that gather results from multiple search engines; these include Jux2, Dogpile, Clusty, and Mamma.

While Google has achieved the most widespread name recognition, even its regular users may not be aware of some of its latest tools. And other search engines can be better for specific needs. Here’s an overview of some of the latest search engine innovations of particular interest to on-line educators and their students.

Academic search engines

Some search engines focus on scholarly sources. Google Scholar, operating since late 2004 in a beta version

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