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Search Me! Searching Sites Without a Search Facility
by Mike Banks Valentine

Are there search options for sites without them other than the
"Find on Page" option in your browser? This browser utility
allows you to look for specific text strings on each page you
visit, but not an entire site unless you visit every page of
that site and use your "find" command. In both netscape and
explorer that is "command F" or choose from your menu bar
first "Edit" then "Find".

That option is not effective, especially on large sites with
hundreds of pages of information. If a site is well placed in
the search engine you are using, you can sometimes limit your
search to a particular site within the results list.
allows you to choose a link below each match that says "similar

At the Open Directory Project you have the option
to "Search Within Results". At Open Directory there is also a
very handy list of links at the bottom of each results page that
will allow you to search at EIGHT other search engines plus Yahoo
with a single click per search engine, maintaining your query
for you!

At InfoSeek/Go network you choose first
"Find Similar Pages" link below each result. When those results
return, you can choose the link that says "More Results from..."
the same domain. The InfoSeek function will obviously only work
for sites indexed by InfoSeek. This option is most effective. offers that option in some search results which
show a blue folder for "More results from this site" but those
handy little folders don't show up on every result.

Finally at Yahoo and Open Directory, you can search within
categories. If you're searching for "JetSki" Search the category
"Home > Recreation > Outdoors > Boating > personal watercraft >"
and search only in related categories that show up in the search
results. Yahoo provides suggested categories that are within the
same areas of interest.

Software that you host on your own computer cannot do this without
going to the search engines first to gather the information and
then offering you choices from among the results it has gathered.
Although there are some software programs like this, they are
varied and differ dramatically in effectiveness depending on
your needs for precision of results.

Ultimately, it would be easiest for everyone if all site owners
offered a search function from their own site, but until they do
the best thing to do is make certain that YOUR site provides
a search option by checking with your host to see what they offer
for searching within your site. If your ISP doesn't have a hosted
search facility, you can always go to third party providers like at . This allows you
to set up a private site search that returns results only from
you own pages. Then nobody will be able to complain that you
don't offer your own site search facility!

Happy Hunting!
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July 26, 2001