Finding the Trees in the Digital Forest 

Try this: Select a compound concept (at least two words) related to the topic on the previous page. Search in each of the search engines.  Which one gave you the most relevant results? 
Use these search engines; while you're there, explore some of their features. Number 
of sites
Try a search "only in" your primary subject.    
Look at the topics in the GO directory: how many of these are relevant?     
"Search within results" to increase precision.     
Northern Light    
Select a custom search folder.    
Try a Power Search.    
Alta Vista    
Compare the results from a simple and an advanced search.    
The Big Hub    
Choose a Specialty Search Category.    
CNET Search    
Click on advanced; select groups of sites to search.  (Note the assumption in the default.)    
Search for a phrase.    

Try this:  Try a new search in Ask Jeeves and Subjex.  Does phrasing your inquiry as a complete sentence significantly change the way you search?