Review: Search lots of sites at once with URLNotifier | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Search lots of sites at once with URLNotifier

Search many Web sites all at once with specific criteria using this unique freeware.

URLNotifier is a different sort of search tool, but one with lots of potential uses. It searches Web sites en masse for words, phrases, links, and code excerpts--just about anything you can specify--and logs the results in an easy-to-use interface. It can match text, regular expressions, or whole sentences and check sites individually or in batches using site-by-site or global search terms and criteria. Andrey Shchukin's URLNotifier is portable freeware.

URLNotifier's user interface opened with a new Project ready for us to add URLs using a pop-up wizard. We could add as many URLs as we needed and save our Project as a UN file. All the URLs in a Project appear in the left-half of the user interface; on the right are tabbed Task, Project, and Group settings. The first step was to specify our first site's search criteria in the Task tab. We started simple by specifying a single, non-case-sensitive word as a search term for our first URL, though we could enter case-sensitive and regular expression searches of much greater length. We could also enter a label and lengthy comments. The next tab, Project settings, let us specify global search criteria for our Project. This level of specificity means you can load and search large numbers of URLs in broad terms and then refine your searches with narrowly targeted criteria. By default, URLNotifier follows redirects, though we chose to uncheck this option on both the Task and Project settings when searching multiple addresses, though mostly for time considerations.

We were surprised at how quickly URLNotifier worked, though factors like Project size, your Internet connection, and even the time of day will determine your results. URLNotifier logs a lot of information about each search, but it also tracks each site and each project's search history and displays them in a bar graph and defrag-style bit map: green for hits and red for misses. The Groups tab grouped our search's Status, Status Change, Server status code, and Encoding data in a tree view. We can think of tons of uses for URLNotifier, and it's an excellent choice for any user who wants a comprehensive way to search online.

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