General Search Engines
||Simple and straightforward, Google often provides a good list of relevant hits to your search. It also indexes PDF documents, Word documents, and PostScript files, blogs, YouTube, its ever-growing database of full-text books, and on and on and on.
||A good place to start your Internet search. Google is often highly rated by users. It is one of the largest indexers of the Web.
|Google Image Search
||Easy and fast with excellent results. Clicking on an image shows the image and the page from which it came.
||If you are looking for images this is a great site to use.
||Searches “open-to-the-free-web” scholarly literature (papers, theses, books, articles, etc.). Provides access to some documents that are not indexed by databases.
||Often does not link to the full text of articles, or requires a fee to link to full text. Try the advanced search tips.
||The newest search engine on the block. Blekko has real humans curating its content, as seen in its categorizing search results by subject, thus differentiating it from other search engines.
||The focus is on quality content. It claims, or at least aims, to eliminate spam and other low-content results.
||This search engine’s claim to fame is that it doesn’t track or “bubble” users. It’s a tool that respects privacy and makes sure you see all relevant results, not just the results it thinks you want to see.
||Search results often contain “instant answers.” A goodies service includes all sorts of special searches (calculations, conversions, dates, etc.)
||Yahoo has become a portal site – a home base for news, e-mail, weather, and consumer advice – as well as a search tool.
||Best of the old “directory” style search engines. Subject-listed entries are selected by people and arranged by category. It is a good place to start a search.
||A huge index, like Google. Use the advanced search feature for best results. Good for searching various types of images.
||AltaVista and Yahoo are owned by the same company, so you might lose track of where you are…
||Microsoft’s addition to the list of search engines.
||Search results are broken down into categories listed on the left side of the page for easier topical searches.
Collections of Selected Websites
||SweetSearch is a custom search engine that searches just 35,000 expert-selected Web sites.
||Very focused on the needs of students. First few hits bring together sources on a single subject. Each entry displays from 100-400 words of context around search terms.
||Highest quality sites are compiled by public librarians. Good, reliable descriptions provided for sites. This website is a merger between the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians’ Internet Index (LII).
||Helpful for web research when you want sites that are considered authoritative and reliable.
|Open Directory Project
||A human-edited directory of the Web which is constructed and maintained by a global community of volunteer editors.
||No ranking or promotion of websites. Open Source inspired, volunteer managed initiative (so quality may vary).
|The Internet Scout Project
||This directory (housed at the University of Wisconsin–Madison) has sites selected by professional librarians, educators and content specialists. Sites are screened for timely, accurate information.
||The quick search box is in the upper right hand corner. Be sure to explore advanced searching by clicking on the “Scout Report Archives” link.
||Features quality news and opinions that are rated by members based on quality, not just popularity. Reviewers are vetted and rated too, before their reviews get top billing.
||A site to find “good journalism online.” Their goal is to increase news literacy and allow people to make well-informed decisions in our democracy.
The lists in these tables are by no means exhaustive. They do represent a general consensus on what the helpful search tools are. If you are interested in finding out more about Internet search tools, check out the following links