VIP provides buffer search, the ability to search the buffer for a region under the cursor. You have to turn this on by calling
Then, the key g will take movement commands like w,/ etc. to find a region and search for the contents of this region. This command is very useful to search for variable names etc. in a program. The search can be repeated by n, or reversed by N.
Emacs provides incremental search. As you type the string in, the cursor will move to the next match. You can snarf words from the buffer as you go along. Incremental Search is normally bound to C-s and C-r. See section Customization, to find out how to change the bindings of C-r or C-s. :map cannot be used, since it creates macros bound to keys, not lisp functions. For details, see section `Incremental Search' in The GNU Emacs Manual
VIP also provides a query replace function that prompts through the minibuffers. It is invoked by the Q key in Vi mode.