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Search Engine Guide

There are thousands of internet search engines, each one indexing only a fraction of the billions of pages that exist on the World Wide Web. Listed below are some of the most popular engines, arranged into four categories: Remember that each engine uses different search strategies. Some automatically search for plurals or correct your spelling; others don't. If you search for two or more words, some engines assume that you want pages that contain either word, and some engines assume that you want pages that contain both words, or the words as a phrase. Be sure to read the "search tips" or "help" for each engine for the most accurate and efficient searching. Try various engines, and try rephrasing your search terms if you're not finding what you need.
Search Engines
Directories
Specialized Searching
Metasearch Engines

Search Engines: These sites use software that sends out automatic agents (AKA spiders, crawlers, or bots) to scour the web. Their emphasis is generally on returning a large number of hits, although some sites do have methods to try to get the "good stuff" to rise to the top. Google

Altavista

AllTheWeb
Yahoo!

Ask

Yahoo! Directory

Open Directory

Directories: These sites use automated software to find web sites which are then classified into a directory structure by humans. Searches may retrieve fewer hits than with a general search engine, but the sites listed may be reviewed for quality, annotated, or linked to other sites. Some of these websites also offer personal assistance, either in the form of an expert to whom you can email a question, or an open forum where anyone may answer a posted question.
LookSmart

About.com
Internet Public Library Beaucoup

Specialized directories
& search engines:

These sites concentrate on specific
subject areas.
Scholarly/Academic Information
Google Scholar

Infomine

Librarians' Index to the Internet

Health
Medline Plus

MedHunt



Legal Findlaw Law.com Internet Legal Research Group

Science
Scirus
Science.Gov


Graphics Picsearch
Google Images
Ditto

Multimedia Singingfish Altavista Lycos Pictures and Sound

Computer-Related CiteSeer BitPipe KnowledgeStorm

Government FirstGov SearchGov FedWorld

Metacrawlers: These sites are "meta" engines; that is, they don't maintain a list of sites themselves, but search through other engines. The same search is performed across a number of sources, and any special search syntax (+, -, "AND" operators) may be interpreted differently by each engine. DogPile Mamma
KartOO All4One
SurfWax

Directories of search engines: These sites search for specialized directories and search engines.
Search Engine Guide Search Engine Watch

Crash course in evaluating web sites
Authority: Who created the page? Why? What are the author's credentials? Can the author be contacted? Who is sponsoring the site?
Objectivity vs. bias: Is the author being objective or biased? Does this webpage seem more like an advertisement than useful information?
Currency: Is there a date on the page? How up-to-date is the information? Are there many broken links?