Search Engines essentially index all files they can get their hands on, good, bad, or indifferent. Directories are edited by humans and contain only limited information about sites that have been brought to their attention – such as a title and a short description of a site.
If however you are searching for a site that will sell you floor mats for your Jeep, you had better start with a search engine. Due to a directories limited structure, the detailed specifics of what a site has to offer can not be found. A search engine on the other hand will provide you with an endless supply of sites offering you Jeep Floor Mats, and present them to you by using a number of factors such as the sites popularity, and its relevance to your search term.
If you are searching on a broad base, such as trying to locate stores that sell auto accessories online, your best bet is a directory. You’ll be presented with a nice list of sites that fit within a specific category, and you can make your choices from there.
Be specific about what you want when entering your search terms. Whilst this will only have a minor effect on results from a directory, it has a big impact on search engine results.
Before searching, consider what would be on the page you are in search of. You must then use those words in your search.
For example, if you are looking to buy floor mats for a Jeep Cherokee, from a store somewhere in Calafornia, you would expect the page to have terms like “jeep charokee”, “Floor Mats”, “Calafornia”. The search should then become, Jeep charokee Floor Mats Calafornia.
Think ahead of your search
Use quotes (“”) around your words. This is good if you want to search for a particular phrase such as “Jeep Cherokee Floor Mats”. By placing quotes around your phrase, most search engines will return only pages containing the exact phrase you have specified.
Another trick with searching the internet is to find a site offering searches which focus on a single topic. For example, if I wanted to find a Private Investigator, a site containing a searchable Private Investigator directory will 9 times out of 10 return a better result, with far more relevant information, than a broad directory or a search engine. Another advantage to this is that topic based directories may also contain information about businesses which do not yet have a web site online.