Internet Search Engines

	    "On the net, nobody knows where anything is."
	            		    - Steward Alsop
            (Flynn, 1995: C5)            
While there have been noteworthy efforts to enhance precision as well as recall in searching the World Wide Web for resources, even the more sophisticated search engines often provide irrelevant or duplicated search results.
Dodge has concisely summarized the general problems experienced by many users who search the WWW with one or more of the common search engines:
 	    ...[T]he biggest frustrations are finding what 
	    you want, the iffiness in getting there, and the
            eternal waiting to arrive (Dodge, 1995: 3).
Due to differences in their overall technical design and coverage, different search engines will not only display search results differently, overall search results can differ significantly from search engine to search engine. To be assured that one has identified all potential resources to satisfy a query, all available search engines must be used, and one must separately review all, or most, results retrieved by each engine.
While this type of information-seeking behavior may be beneficial for certain types of searches, for many individuals such searching can easily consume a significant portion of their effort and time, and not necessarily with fruitful results. Librarians can enhance the precision of Internet searches, increase relevance and reduce overall 'information overload' by employing many of the conventions that their profession, and others, have used for hundreds of years for effective retrieval - information management.
Cited Reference
John Dodge, "The Net harbors some search snags," PC week 12(20): 3 (May 22, 1995).
Laurie Flynn, "Making searches easier in the Web's sea of data," New York Times, C5 (October 2, 1995).
Carol Levin, "I know it's out there somewhere...", PC magazine 14(14): 31 (August 1995).
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