AltaVista Now Uses "And" Connector Instead of "Or"
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As part of its new Prisma Advanced Search Technology, old-guard search engine AltaVista has replaced its default boolean connector. Now when searchers enter a string of terms, AltaVista automatically (and invisibly) adds an "and" between each term. Previously, the search engine inserted an "or" between terms. For example, an AltaVista search for dog law will now yield results containing the terms dog AND law; before this new change, the search returned results containing dog OR law. The latter would, obviously, include innumerable irrelevant results. News of the change was buried deep within an AltaVista announcement regarding its new Prisma technology.

The Prisma technology is designed to help searchers narrow down their search results by suggesting more specific terms to search within the search results. Prisma "instantly processes a given search query and returns a 360-degree spectrum of the most strongly associated words, phrases, names and concepts," according to AltaVista's press release announcing the technology. Users can then select any of those more specific terms to find the precise information they are looking for.

Users still have the option of inserting their own "and," "or," "and not" or "near" connectors via AltaVista's Advanced Search page.

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