I have invoked a couple of remote search engines to crawl and index
the files of my home page. If you prefer to search by keywords instead
of surfing through the links, this may be a good option. I love good search
engines myself. But let me give you one word of warning: Surveys have demonstrated
that the chances of finding what you are looking for are actually lower
when searching by keywords than by following links. There are probably
more reasons for this, but an obvious one for genealogists is spelling.
No search engine that I know of will be able to figure out that København,
Kjøbenhavn, Kiøbenhavn, Kbhvn. and Kbh. all mean Copenhagen,
but if you knew one of these spellings, you would probably recognize the
others when seeing them yourself. If you think a name is spelled Miller
and the actual spelling in the 18th century was Møller, Möller
or Müller, the search engines will probably be of little or no value.
Anyway, if you know what you are looking for, they are fast and
precise, so enjoy!
You may proceed by making simple searches in one of the boxes to the right, or
you can read my description of the search engines, their characteristics and
In my opinion, Google is the finest search engine on the Internet. I base my
opinion mainly on these characteristics:
- Page Ranking. Each page is assigned a rank of 0-10, depending on how many
other pages refer to it and the referencing pages own rank. The higher rank,
the better probability that the page is shown on top of search results. A
democratic and well functioning feature.
- Relevant excerpts in search results. It is amazing to see how Google is
capable of finding and displaying relevant contexts for the keywords provided.
- Only ads relevant to the keywords are displayed, and ads are clearly
marked as such.
- All pages and tools from Google are remarkably simple and easy to use. A
brilliant example is the Google Toolbar which can be installed as an add-on to
Internet Explorer. It does a great job in simplifying searches.
In site searches Google does not do quite as well. Page Ranking does not
really take effect in a small search space and sometimes it takes months for
Google to discover that a particular page has been updated. But it is still a
FreeFind searches all the HTML files (not the PDF files) on my home page
and returns excerpts for each hit. In addition you can get a site map of my home
page and you can ask FreeFind to monitor specific pages and alert you when they
Atomz can make simple searches for single keywords, but can also search
for combinations of words and complete phrases. In addition, Atomz indexes
both HTML and PDF files. As I have a number of PDF files on my home page,
Atomz might be worthwhile trying. Relevant excerpts are displayed in search
results, much like Google does it. Atomz is the search engine you invoke in my
navigation bar on top of most of my older pages.