How to Search the Web
Learn how to find anything on the Internet with quality Web sites. Become a smarter, savvier searcher. FindingDulcinea also offers foreign language versions of this guide in Chinese
Understanding what the Internet is and how it works can enhance your online ... read more »
Finding information on the Web is like being a police detective: Your information is only as good ... read more »
Search engines are online software programs designed to help users locate relevant Web sites, and ... read more »
Aside from Google, there are hundreds of alternative search engines, each with its own set of merits. Get tips on choosing a search engine and find some worth considering when your go-to engine fails you.
- A majority of search engines have features that allow users to search specifically for images, videos, news, blogs and much more. Links to these categories are generally found above the search bar, and need only to be clicked to activate the specialty search features.
- Each search engine’s index of sites is unique; each has a different formula for spidering through them. This means there can be significant variation in the results that different engines generate for the same search terms. For example, visit the site Zuula. Zuula allows you to search across multiple platforms by putting them all in one location. After entering your search term, you'll be given a typical-looking results page. What makes it unique is that by clicking the tabs listed across the top of the page, you'll be given the results for your search term on each of the search engines listed. Google, Yahoo, Live, Gigablast, Exalead, Alexa, Entireweb, Mahalo and Mojeek are all in one place.
- Many search engines draw on the technologies of a select few. For instance, HotBot provides a way to toggle between results on Yahoo, MSN and the visual search engine Lycos. AOL Search relies on Google, and according to Search Engine Watch, the results are very similar.
- These sites represent a selection of the best search engines, and are certainly as much as most Web users would need. But as this continually updated list on Wikipedia demonstrates, search engines come in all varieties, and their number is vast.
For an overview …
has a brief yet thorough explanation of the Internet and its components. Find more than 70 search engines, including general search engines, meta search engines and search engine collections. Not sure where to start? Try “How to Choose a Search Tool
” for recommendations.
For general search engines (also known as horizontal search engines) …
is the heavy hitter in the industry. In addition to general Web searches, it’s easy to search for images, news and videos, and perform map searches by clicking on the appropriate category above the search box.
“A Search Engine for Students,” searches only 35,000 Web sites that have been evaluated and approved by a staff of Internet research experts, and librarian and teacher consultants. It lets researchers choose the most relevant results from a list of credible results, rather than having to waste time on unreliable sites.
transitioned from its roots as a directory to offering search capabilities in competition with Google. Perform general searches or click on "more" to find other search capabilities, such as jobs and news search options.
offers a range of search options and lets you ask plain-language questions (for example, "What causes headaches?") to get answers fast.
is Microsoft’s search service. If you’re into online map services, Bing's Maps are a must. The aerial views and simple navigation that made Google Earth such a novelty are present here, with enhanced clarity in urban centers and stunning 3-D views.
For meta-search engines (search engines that compile results from other search engines) …
is the most comprehensive search engine there is; it searches and compiles results from 10 of the most popular search engines on the Web. It searches for pictures, finds phone numbers from around the world using an international directory and compares prices for products using a global price search.
offers a number of useful features, such as thumbnail images of search results, the option to cluster results by concept and the ability to organize results by variables such as file type, geography or modification date.
assembles results from Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask. Search for images, audio, video and news, or try the yellow and white page directories and a price-comparison feature. The audio search is particularly useful for finding mp3, midi and .wav versions of songs and other audio clips.
For vertical search engines (search engines that only search specific topics) …
Search Engine Watch
provides a list of topic-specific search engines as well as the latest news in the search engine industry.
Online Education Database
published an article, “Top 25 Web 2.0 Search Engines for College Students,” that features some of the new wave of search engines. Search engines of note include one for searching domain name information, multimedia search engines and search engines that display results in graphically interesting ways.
is a great tool for online shopping. This visual search engine allows you to use characteristics such as shape, color or material to explore products and find exactly what you want.
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