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The Invisible Web: Uncovering Information Sources Search Engines Can't See / Edition 1

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Enormous expanses of the Internet are unreachable with standard web search engines. This book provides the key to finding these hidden resources by identifying how to uncover and use invisible web resources. Mapping the invisible Web, when and how to use it, assessing the validity of the information, and the future of Web searching are topics covered in detail. Only 16 percent of Net-based information can be located using a general search engine. The other 84 percent is what is referred to as the invisible Web—made up of information stored in databases. Unlike pages on the visible Web, information in databases is generally inaccessible to the software spiders and crawlers that compile search engine indexes. As Web technology improves, more and more information is being stored in databases that feed into dynamically generated Web pages. The tips provided in this resource will ensure that those databases are exposed and Net-based research will be conducted in the most thorough and effective manner.

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Editorial Reviews

Much of the Web remains opaque to search engines (hence the term "invisible Web"). Sherman and Price have written this detailed guide for computer literates who wish to improve their Web navigation and novices who wish to learn how the Internet works and become an accomplished searcher, as well as less ambitious readers who will love the long selection of sites with a complete description and the address spelled out. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780910965514
  • Publisher: Information Today, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 438
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Price is a reference librarian at George Washington University. He lives in Vienna, Virginia. Chris Sherman is the director of the guide to Web searching on and president of Searchwise, a consulting firm. He is the author of the CD-ROM Handbook and a frequent contributor to Online magazine. He lives in Los Angeles. Danny Sullivan works for

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Table of Contents

Figures and Tables xiii
Foreword xv
Acknowledgments xix
Introduction xxi
The Invisible Web in a Nutshell xxii
What to Expect from This Book xxiii
Boldly Go Where No Search Engine Has Gone Before xxvi
About xxix
Chapter 1 The Internet and the Visible Web 1
How the Internet Came to Be 2
Early Net Search Tools 3
Enquire Within Upon Everything 8
Weaving the Web 10
Early Web Navigation 12
The First Search Engines 13
Chapter 2 Information Seeking on the Visible Web 17
Browsing vs. Searching 19
Web Directories 22
How Web Directories Work 22
Issues with Web Directories 24
Search Engines 26
How Search Engines Work 26
Issues with Search Engines 32
Search Engines vs. Directories 36
Chapter 3 Specialized and Hybrid Search Tools 37
Targeted Directories and Focused Crawlers 38
Targeted Directories 39
Focused Crawlers 41
Vertical Portals (Vortals) 43
How to Find Vortals 44
Metasearch Engines 44
Issues with Metasearch Engines 45
Value-Added Search Services 46
Alternative Search Tools 48
Browser Agents 48
Client-Based Search Tools 50
Web Rings 51
Fee-Based Web-Accessible Services 52
Next Stop: The Invisible Web 52
Chapter 4 The Invisible Web 55
Invisible Web Defined 56
Why Search Engines Can't See the Invisible Web 62
Four Types of Invisibility 70
The Opaque Web 70
The Private Web 73
The Proprietary Web 73
The Truly Invisible Web 74
Chapter 5 Visible or Invisible? 77
Navigation vs. Content Sites 78
Direct vs. Indirect URLs 79
The URL Test 80
Specialized vs. Invisible 82
Visible vs. Invisible 83
The Library of Congress Web Site: Both Visible and Invisible 86
The Robots Exclusion Protocol 89
Chapter 6 Using the Invisible Web 91
Why Use the Invisible Web? 92
When to Use the Invisible Web 95
Top 25 Invisible Web Categories 96
What's NOT on the Web--Visible or Invisible 103
Spider Traps, Damned Lies, and Other Chicanery 105
Keeping Current with the Invisible Web 109
Build Your Own Toolkit 111
Chapter 7 Case Studies 115
Case 1 Historical Stock Quotes 115
Case 2 Patent Information 117
Case 3 Real-Time Tracking 119
Case 4 Locating an Out of Print Book 120
Case 5 Telephone Numbers and Zip Codes 121
Case 6 Finding Online Images 122
Case 7 Investment Research 123
Case 8 The Invisible Web Fails to Deliver! 124
Chapter 8 The Future: Revealing the Invisible Web 127
Smarter Crawlers 128
The Promise and Pitfalls of Metadata 129
Beyond Text 130
Delving into Databases 130
Hypertext Query Languages 132
Real-Time Crawling 132
Long Live the Invisible Web 133
Chapter 9 The Best of the Invisible Web 135
Invisible Web Pathfinders 135
An Invisible Web Directory 137
Frequently Asked Questions about the Directory 138
In Summary: The Top 10 Concepts to Understand about the Invisible Web 142
Chapter 10 Art and Architecture 145
Architecture 146
Artists 147
Galleries on the Web 148
Gateways to Art and Architecture Resources 151
Reference 152
Chapter 11 Bibliographies and Library Catalogs 153
Bibliographies 154
Library Catalogs 160
Chapter 12 Business and Investing 163
Company Information and Research 164
Consumer Resources 169
Economics--United States 169
Economics--World 173
Financial Institutions 175
General Business Resources 176
Government Contracts 177
Industry-Specific Resources 178
Investment Resources 182
Jobs and Career Information 185
Lookup Services 187
Marketing Resources 188
Pension Resources 189
Personal Finances 190
Philanthropy and Non-Profit Resources 190
Research and Development 192
Real Estate 193
Tariffs and Trade 194
Trade Shows and Conventions 196
Chapter 13 Computers and Internet 199
Computers and Computing 200
Internet Resources 203
Chapter 14 Education 207
Classroom and Teacher Support 208
Directories and Locators 209
Financial Information and Scholarships 212
General Education Resources 213
Statistics 215
Chapter 15 Entertainment 217
Amusements 218
General Entertainment Resources 218
Movies and Cinema 219
Music 221
Performances and Events 224
Chapter 16 Government Information and Data 227
Directories and Locators 228
General Government Resources 230
Government Documents 231
Government Officials 234
Government Programs 235
Politics, Policy, and International Relations 236
Statistics 238
Chapter 17 Health and Medical Information 241
Diseases and Conditions 242
Images 246
Healthcare and Medical Information 247
Healthcare Professional Resources 249
Locators 251
Nutrition 253
Patient Information and Consumer Resources 254
Pharmaceutical Drugs 256
Research 257
Workplace Health and Safety 259
Chapter 18 U.S. and World History 261
United States History 262
World History 267
Chapter 19 Legal and Criminal Resources 271
Attorney and Law Firm Locators 272
Crime and Criminals 273
Decisions 273
Documents and Records 274
General Legal Resources 274
Intellectual Property 276
Laws, Codes, and Treaties 278
Chapter 20 News and Current Events 283
Audio 284
Directories 284
News Search Resources 285
Video 288
Chapter 21 Searching for People 291
Famous and Historical People 292
Genealogy Resources 293
Group and Affiliation Directories 294
Online White Pages and Lookup Tools 297
Veterans and Currently Serving Military 299
Chapter 22 Public Records 301
General Public Records Resources 302
Location-Specific Public Records 303
Chapter 23 Real-Time Information 311
Environment 312
Government 313
Miscellaneous Tracking 314
Space and Satellite 314
Stock Quotes 315
Transportation 315
Weather 317
Chapter 24 Reference 319
Associations 320
Awards 321
Books 322
Calculators 323
Consumer Resources 324
Dictionaries, Glossaries, and Translation Resources 325
Food and Beverages 327
General Reference Resources 328
Journals and Periodicals 331
Library/Online Searching 332
Locators 333
Maps and Geography 335
Sports 338
Travel 339
Weather 341
Chapter 25 Science 343
Agriculture 344
Biology 345
Botany 347
Chemistry 348
Earth Sciences 350
Energy 353
Engineering 355
Environment 356
General Science Resources 361
Mathematics and Physics 362
Oceanography 362
Research and Development 363
Space and Astronomy 365
Weather and Meteorology 367
Chapter 26 Social Sciences 369
Anthropology 370
Archaeology 370
Demographics 371
Development Resources 373
General Resources 374
Gender Studies and Data 375
Latin America 376
Military Resources 377
Psychology 377
Research and Development 378
Religion 378
Chapter 27 Transportation 381
Air 382
Automobile 384
General Transportation Resources 384
Maritime 386
Railroad 387
Glossary 389
References 397
About the Authors 401
Index 403
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2001

    Essential Book For Any Web Searcher

    What a great book, essential reading for anyone who uses the web to find information. It explains, clearly and concisely, what the invisible web is (the 80% of the web that is NOT indexed by search engines) and why that material is 'invisible'. In addition, the book has 19 (!) chapters with descriptions of invisible web resources on topics ranging from health/medicine to news to science. This book should be on every web searcher's desk.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2001

    Ahead of its time

    I think that this book is so good. How good is it you might ask? We'll let me tell you, it is so good, that, like, I know it is so good even before reading it. Can't wait til it's released so that I can see how good it actually is.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2010

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