11/96 Features: The Search Is On (Search Tools)
Set Your Site To Search
WHY BUILD YOUR own search tool when you can use someone else's for free? Most search engine developers offer help, and sometimes source code, so users can search your site for useful information.
If you provide a link to a search engine instead of incorporating one into your site, you end up with the classic Web problem: You lose a site visitor. Lycos, however, will not only give you the source code necessary to put its search box on your site, it will also help you retain your audience. Fill in an electronic form, and within 48 hours Lycos developers promise to ship you a free search form. A backlink displays search results with an icon of your choosing and returns users to your site with a mouse click.
In many cases, you can simply visit a page on the search site and copy code for building the search engine directly into your own page. Developers that don't provide actual code samples for you to paste into your site's HTML code will often document the required steps in their Help pages.
Search tool companies are beginning to see the value of providing their tools for local use. More and more of them are willing to sell you not only the canned code you need to add local site search capabilities, but also the support you need to make them work properly. AltaVista owner Digital Equipment Corp. has released AltaVista Search, a customizable version of its own search tools for intranet and Internet sites.
Excite offers EWS (Excite for Web Servers), a Perl script that provides local searches similar to those of the massive Excite engines. EWS can group results sets by both topic and relevancy, so a user can quickly discard related but irrelevant hits. The service supports searches of documents in ASCII text and HTML formats, and support for Adobe Acrobat .PDF files is in the works. You can download EWS 1.0 free from