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Proximity Searches:

AltaVista, I recall, let you search for a word or phrase near another word or phrase -- but now that feature is gone. Can anyone recommend some search engines that have this useful feature, and that don't have huge countervailing handicaps?

If you have a specific (and verified) suggestion, please respond in the comments to this post. Thanks!

Anonymous Coward:
Google automatically gives priority to searches where the words appear near each other. However, you could always put your search in quotes to force it.

To find the exact phrase "Raiders of the Lost Ark", you type it just like that with the quotes. But then you can use wildcards to replace words. "Raiders * * * Ark" would match Raiders of the Lost Ark, along with other word permutations.
12.28.2004 12:58pm
davatar (mail) (www):
There is an online workaround that allows a NEAR search (up to NEAR 3) to be run on Google. It works by (invisibly) taking your request and sending it as multiple requests using appropriate wildcards. The interface -- similar to, but a bit more cluttered than, Google -- is here:

http://www.staggernation.com/cgi-bin/gaps.cgi
12.28.2004 3:56pm