Web Search Engines
The line has gotten blurred between search engines and subject directories, as search
engines include directories (often licensed from Open Directory Project)
and directories include search options.
Search Engines |
Invisible Web |
About Search Engines |
Multiple Search Engines |
Search Engine Snooping |
Search Engine Fun |
Web Search Software
The Big Four:
- Google - Based on quantity and quality of links to a site.
The Google Cheatsheet will help you take advantage of special syntaxes. Explore Google Search tells how you can
get instant factual information.
- Bing - Formerly MSN and Live.com (Microsoft)
- Yahoo Search
Best of the Rest:
- Duck Duck Go -
Useful information above the links, searches within sites ("bangs"), and more privacy options
- Exalead - Search
engine from France offering a proximity operator, thumbnails of Web pages in the results, suggested related terms and
categories, and more
- Similar Sites - Enter a site and it finds
- Wolfram Alpha - Calling itself a "computational
knowledge engine," WA searches facts and does calculations based on its own database of "curated" facts
- Yandex - The Russian search engine
Other Search Engines:
- FreeSearch - U.K. search engine
- Gigablast - Looks similar to Google, smaller database though
- Openfind - Search engine emphasizing Chinese-language results
- Overture - Includes paid listings; included in several other search engines' results
Custom Search Engines:
These sites let you make your own custom search engine that will search selected sites or topics.
- Gigablast Custom Topic
Search - Lets you make a search form for up to 500 Web sites
- Google Custom Search
- Yahoo Alpha
Google's API makes
it possible for others to develop applications that work with Google.
- Google Hacks:
- Find Forward - All kinds of special Google searches: images, backlinks, blogs, no blogs, RSS, wildcards, etc.
- Google School - All kinds of tips and shortcuts (Lifehacker)
- Google Sets - Get a list of synonyms to add to your search
- Google Sitemaps will help Google search your site. Third party programs can help you make a sitemap.
- Shmoogle - Takes a Google search and presents the results in random order. Find stuff you didn't know was there!
- Soople - Assists with many kinds of expert searches
- XooMLe - Google results in XML
Visual Search Engines:
These applications produce visual representations of
search engine results (including clustering).
- Grokker - Get results in a "zoomable map" or outline form. Test it with a Yahoo search.
Answer Engines (Natural Language Search Engines):
Ask these search engines a question. Note:
Google and Bing sometimes provide answers in response to
- Brainboost Answer Engine
Web Directories of Search Engines:
- Internet Search Engines (Phil Bradley)
- Specialized Search Engines - Some of the search engines search other parts of the Internet, such as file hosting sites and Usenet (Open Directory Project)
The so-called invisible Web is data that's locked up in databases, or it's in non-text formats, but in either case, it's
hidden from search engines. Also, What is the Invisible Web? (UC Berkeley libraries)
- Beaucoup - 2000+ Search Engines, Indices, and Directories arranged by subject
- Invisible Web - Hundreds of sources in all subjects
- INFOdocket - Where librarian Gary Price reports his latest discoveries (Library Journal)
- Invisible-Web.net - Web directory of sources. Based on the book by Chris Sherman and
- Profusion - 500 sources arranged in a subject directory and searchable from this
About Search Engines
Multiple Search Engines
Some of these sites (also known as metasearch engines) let you search several search engines all at once; others list many search engines on a single page (these are sometimes called all-in-one pages).
- Excite - Searches several search engines; also a portal service
- HotBot - Has become a metasearch engine
- My Search
- Pandia Metasearch
- PlanetSearch - Searches 12 search engines at once
- Researchville - Searches news sites, discussion forums, reference sources, and multimedia, as well as standard Web search engines
- Search.com - Now a metasearch engine (CNet)
- Searchmania - 50
Web indexes in one
- Seekz - Searches 15 search engines and clusters results by site
- Surfwax - A metasearch engine with a difference. "Site snaps" give you information stored about the pages in your results. Registered users may save searches and results.
- Topic Hunter - All-in-one page that provides a search box for many different kinds
of search engines (metasearch, news, blogs, RSS, directories, as well as the standard major engines)
Search Engine Snooping
See what your fellow surfers are searching. Some of these are popular searches of the day; others are what people are
searching right this minute.
- Google Zeitgeist
Search Engine Fun
Web Search Software and Desktop Search