Search Engines

CS 102

The purpose of this lab is to study some techniques used in narrowing the number of keyword "hits" one receives from a search engine.  We will look at some fairly mechanical techniques. 

You will start out by simply trying a number of search techniques and recording the number of hits received from each search.
You will then look at the online help pages to figure out why each search performed the way it did.

Data Collection

Suppose you are interested in finding out about personal privacy issues.  Using Alta Vista ( perform the following searches and record the number of hits from each search.

  1.  personal privacy
  2.  personal +privacy
  3. Click on the Advanced Search link (bottom right-hand corner of the Search box) and in the Boolean expression field type in the search personal NEAR privacy
  4. Near the top of the page, on the left, click the Home link to return to the basic search page and perform the search "personal privacy"
  5. title:"personal privacy"

Analysis of Data

Look at the AltaVista help pages now and write down a brief explanation for each of the previous searches and why they returned the varying number of hits.