01 April, 2005

Finding information: Search Engines

Phil Bradley has complied an excellent list of search engines with their best of utility value identified.This is a collection of search engines and similar resources that phil says he uses on a regular basis when looking for different types of information. Excellent list indeed.

What do you need to find, and what do you already know?

What is the best resource to make use of?

I know what I'm looking for, and I can describe it with some key words Google is always a good bet, since it has the largest index.
Yahoo Search is useful if Google doesn't do it for you.
MSN Search is getting better and may provide results if the other two don't work.
I have an exact phrase that I want to search for Any of the above, with "double quotes" around the phrase will do the trick.
I want a quick factual answer Microsoft Encarta provides factual information to questions
Ask Jeeves can sometimes be worth asking, if you tightly phrase your question
Brainboost is new, but seems to work quite well.
Factbites is also new. Good for very specific search terms
I want to compare results from different search engines Jux2 will compare results from Google, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves
Thumbshots Ranking compares results from Google, Yahoo, Alltheweb, AltaVista, MSN, Teoma, Wisenut.
TurboScout allows you to type in the search once, then run it across 23 different search engines.
I want an overview of a subject. Yahoo Directory provides 14 main categories
Google Directory provides access to 16 main categories
The Open Directory Project provides access to 16 main categories
I want some suggested categories to narrow my search Clusty suggests narrower topics to search under
Teoma suggests categories and collections of resources by experts
Wisenut also has category suggestions
I want a small collection of websites I can look at Any of the three engines above will give you access to websites, rather than pages
I need recent additions to search engines GooFresh from Research Buzz for new additions to Google
Exalead Advanced Search to limit by time
AlltheWeb Advanced Search has a date limiting function
I want to see thumbnails of pages before visiting them Icerocket automatically provides thumbnails
Exalead will show thumbnails and loads the page locally for you to see it
ZapMeta has a quick view option
I want to do a comprehensive search across search engines eZ2Find is a meta search engine with access to 6 major engines
Ixquick has a nunber of UK based engines in its collection
Fazzle gives you a percentage result
I want to re-rank or re-order my results Exalead Advanced re-ranks by date
MSN Search Builder re-orders on update/popularity/accuracy
Google Personalized will re-rank based on your interests
ZapMeta re-ranks on popularity, title, source, domain
I want a more personalised search experience Personalised Google Emphasis subject areas of importance
Eurekster is good for groups of people
My Jeeves storage, access from different computers
I don't know how to spell what I'm looking for Exalead Advanced search allows you to search for approximate spelling or phonetic spelling
The Reverse Dictionary will suggest words based on your suggestions
Dictionary.com can suggest correct spellings for you
I want a visual representation of my results Kartoo provides a visual indication of importance of results and links between them
Mooter provides an initial visual representation
WebBrain displays a visual representation above, and links below
I need to search for different file formats Google Advanced search for .pdf .ps .doc .xls .ppt .rtf
Exalead Advanced for .txt .pdf .doc .xls .ppt .rtf .wpd .swf
I need to find websites that I can trust Pinakes provides a list of Virtual Libraries with links to sites chosen by experts
Librarians' Index to the Internet sites are chosen by librarians
The World Wide Web Virtual Library provides access to virtual libraries
I need access to academic resources Infomine for scholarly internet resource collections
Scirus provides access to scientific information
Google Scholar provides access to scholarly articles
SMEALSearch for Academic business information
I want to search geographically Country search engines is my list of over 2,500 country search engines
Teoma Advanced has a regional search option
Many search engines have regional versions - replace the .com with the country code
I want to search the hidden web or the invisible web Turbo10 searches over 700 deep web search engines
Invisible Web is a small collection of high quality resources
eZ2Find suggests appropriate databases once a search has been run
ProFusion has access to hundreds of specialised search engines
I need to find images Google Images has over 1 billion indexed
Yahoo Search has over 1.5 billion images
Fagan Finder lists several dozen good engines
I need to find moving images Yahoo! Video Search broad search
Google Video Search for recent television programmes
Blinkx TV video search
I need to find sounds FindSounds for sound effects and musical instruments
I want to find out detailed information about a certain site link:www.sitename.com in a search engine tells you who links to it
The Wayback machine may be able to show you an archived version of a site
Better Whois shows ownership for top level domains
Alexa provides traffic details and related sites
I need search engines suitable for children Kids search tools wide variety of useful resources
KidsClick! directory listings, chosen by librarians
Yahooligans! for children aged 7-12
I want to find people Internet Address Finder US biased, but still useful
192 for UK individuals
British Telecom Directory Enquiries
I want people's opinions on a subject Google Groups provides access to newsgroups
Daypop searches weblog entries
Technorati searches weblogs in more depth
I want current affairs and news information Google news over 4,000 news resources
BBC it's the BBC - what else to say?
MSN Newsbot, wide variety of resources, slightly US biased
I want information on particular words Online Etymology Dictionary Large and impressive collection
World Wide Words International English from a UK viewpoint
Anagrams Very good utility for finding anagrams.
Acronym Finder is extremely good
What's new on the Internet? Neat New Stuff from an American Librarian, Marylaine Block
Librarians Index to the Internet new sites that have been discovered and listed
USA Today web guide is fairly eclectic
I want local information Google provides local information by adding in a place
Streetmap for UK information on places, streets and postcodes
UpMyStreet for UK information on particular areas/regions
I want to share or view bookmarks FURL excellent for saving pages and sharing them with others
SPURL is very similar to FURL
Del.icio.us for social bookmarking
Connotea online reference management service for scientists from Nature
My Bookmarks is the one that I've been using just for bookmarks.

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