How can I search the Web?

SatelLife provides an e-mail gateway for selected WWW search engines. These search engines allow you to search the World Wide Web through e-mail. Currently supported are the Infoseek, Yahoo, and AltaVista search engines.

Help on using the ProMED search engine is also available.


The Yahoo search engine allows you to search through a carefully indexed list of World-Wide Web sites. It will produce a small list of well-organized sites which may have the information you are searching for.

We also provide a gateway into the Infoseek and AltaVista search engines. These search engines allow you to search through the entire World Wide Web, producing a larger set of possible sites, but the probability of any given site having the information you're looking for may be lower than with Yahoo. Infoseek also allows you to search through Usenet archives.


To access one of these search engines, send a message to getweb@usa.healthnet.org with the following line:

SEARCH <engine> <keywords...>

with "engine" replaced by either YAHOO, ALTAVISTA, or INFOSEEK depending on which search engine you want to use.


For example, to search for Yahoo categories relating to the Ebola virus outbreak in Zaire, you might send this message to getweb@usa.healthnet.org:

SEARCH YAHOO ebola zaire

You would receive a message containing these lines:

Found 3 matches containing ebola zaire.  Displaying matches 1-3.

...

* Ebola Epidemic in Zaire[9]
* Ebola Outbreak in Zaire - Updates[10]
* Primary Sources: The Ebola in Zaire[11] - from the Nando Times.

...

[9] http://www.uct.ac.za/microbiology/ebopage.html
[10] http://www.bocklabs.wisc.edu/outbreak.html
[11] http://www.nando.net/newsroom/zairesources.html

To gain more information about entry number 10, labelled 'Ebola Outbreak in Zaire', you could then send a message to getweb@usa.healthnet.org with the message body:

SEND http://www.bocklabs.wisc.edu/outbreak.html


We also provide a gateway to the powerful AltaVista search engine. To search the entire World-Wide Web for information about tobacco and lung cancer, send this message to getweb@usa.healthnet.org:

SEARCH ALTAVISTA tobacco "lung cancer"

To search through healthnet.org home pages for information on the Ebola virus, send this message:

SEARCH ALTAVISTA host:healthnet.org ebola

The AltaVista Help page contains additional information on query syntax.


Finally, we also provide a gateway to the popular InfoSeek search engine. To search the entire World-Wide Web for information about exercise and rats, type:

SEARCH INFOSEEK exercise rats This can lead to possibly useful information (like a Mouse and Rat Research Home Page), as well as to useless information (like the home page of someone who refers to himself as "Rat".)

By default, Infoseek will search the World-Wide Web. However, Infoseek recognizes the following keywords:

So, to search for recent news on the 15-year-old search for a cure for AIDS, submit this query:

SEARCH INFOSEEK NW cure aids

The Infoseek Search Tips page explains how to create more complex queries, like a query which finds only pages which contain the phrase "San Francisco":

SEARCH INFOSEEK city guide +San Francisco


Please note that SatelLife is in no way affiliated with Infoseek, AltaVista, or Yahoo, and cannot be responsible for the accuracy of these search engines or for the content of retreived WWW documents.

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