Local News

Search Engines Slow as Internet Grows

Posted July 8, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT

— There is more information available on the World Wide Web than time to browse it. Finding something specific can be difficult, to say the least.

There are scores of search engines and hundreds of millions of Web pages. It is easy to type in a few words and come up with information, but do you get what you want?

Search engines and directories abound. Some specialize. There are engines for people, engines for movies, engines for sports.

Tom used several search engines to look up WRAL-TV.AltaVistafound 1,431 references to WRAL-TV.Snapfound only 11.HotBotdiscovered 800 pages, andNorthern Lightdelivered almost 10,000.

Researchers atNECfound that search engines are finding a lower percentage of Internet pages than they did a couple of years ago. Author and Internet authority Paul Gilster says the important sites are being found, though.

"Probably most of the relatively authoritative sources are being indexed better than some of the less trustworthy ones just because they're big. They're being pointed to by a lot of people," Gilster said.

Research shows new sites have a hard time being found. It may take six months for some sites to be listed by search engines.

Gilster's advice is that you learn how to search, and print the instructions. "If you print it out, go through sample searches and just take a look and then really master one or two search engines," he said.

If you are having trouble, refine the search. "If they get more than let's say a hundred hits, and most people do, go back and re-evaluate your search strategy," Gilster suggests.

The majority of people who answeredWRAL OnLine's Hot Buttonpoll say they find what they are looking for by using a search engine.