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July 7, 1999

2 Min Read
The search for the perfect link

Experienced Internet users will be familiar with the concept of search engines such as Yahoo!, AltaVista, or Lycos. These use automatic software to search out and index every significant word on, at least in theory, every page on the web.

Unfortunately, millions of those pages are irrelevant to your professional searching needs. We’ve all had the experience of finding thousands, even millions of irrelevant results through a generic search engine (where molding may refer to candy and injection to medicine).

That problem has been tackled now that the world’s first search engine dedicated to plastics and rubber sites has been launched by Rapra Technology Ltd. The search technology is the same, but the spider software is instructed to visit only those sites of interest to the polymer world (as determined by Rapra).

At the moment, more than 37,000 pages and 1300 websites are indexed but the total is rising all the time. The PSI search engine is easy to use and it’s free. To find references to a plastic topic, just go to the PSI site and type in a query. The engine returns the hits as live links, not to home pages but to pages deep within plastics-related sites; just click on any link to go directly to the relevant web page.

On the site we found a number of links to sites that belong to suppliers, processors, academic institutions, trade magazines and technical journals, and others. The powerful search functions include operators (and, or, not, adjacent, within), wildcards, truncations, word stemming, complete phrases, and exact matches.

If your site or a site that you like has not been indexed by the PSI spider, you can submit the URL free of charge at the site and the spider will then pick it up on a future run, providing Rapra agrees with your submission.

PSI is part of Rapra’s much larger website, which contains a remarkable abstract of any printed material about the plastics industry. Available only to paid subscribers, the Abstract Database goes back 80 years to record the stories of yesteryear.

Contact information
Rapra Technology Ltd.
Shawbury, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, U.K.
Rien van den Hondel
Phone: +44 (1939) 250383 Fax: +44 (1939) 251118
Website: www.rapra.net,
and www.polymer-search.com

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