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Section: Search Tools

What do Search Tools Search?

Selecting an appropriate type of search tool for a particular information need will help you find appropriate information more quickly and reliably. Within a single type of search tool, there may be several different search engines or directories available. For example, General Search Engines are a type of search tool; however, there are several General Search Engines available to use. Google, Yahoo! Search, AskJeeves and Teoma are all General Search Engines.

It is important to understand what you are searching when you use a world wide web search tool:

  • you are not searching the entire world wide web nor are you searching it directly; it is impossible to do so
  • each search tool indexes a portion of the world wide web and makes it searchable

Therefore, each tool is allowing you to search a subset of the entire world wide web; no single search tool provides the power of searching the entire thing.  However, you will see a significant overlap in the results from identical searches in different search engines.

General Search Engines: Coverage & Overlap
(not to scale)


Question: When you use Google to search, you are searching:


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