Search Engines

A short list of some of the more useful and powerful search engines available


If you need help deciding which search engine to use, answer a few questions at Noodle Quest A wizard will suggest an appropriate engine, based on your answers. Also check out Noodle Tools for help with specific kinds of searches.

Beaucoup - a list of 2500 search engines including many foreign ones.

Deep Searches aka the invisible web

Deep search engines offer searches on focused databases which are often "invisible" to regular search engines. These databases publish results only as the result of a direct query and the results are not persistent.

CompletePlanet The Deep Web Directory 70,000 + searchable databases

pipl search the deep web for people.

Turbo10 accesses about 800 online databases delivers encyclopedia like results rather than links. It is a reference search service with content from encyclopedias, dictionaries glossaries and atlases. Excellent for quick information on a topic Searching for highly authoritative web pages, Ask uses the retired brand Teoma (expert in Gaelic) Engine which ranks a site based on the number of same-subject pages that reference it. Results are grouped by subject and as a listing. A suggested refinements section helps to focus your search. Under the suggested refinements are resource pages containing site summaries.

Bing is an algorithmic search engine from Microsoft. Search pages are customized according to what type of search you do (health, travel, shopping, news, sports). The algorithms determine the order and layout of the page. This can include anything from images to videos and local results. Bing results now include information from Encyclopedia Britannica.

Blekko, a new search engine in Beta as of November 1, 2010, uses a Wikipedia style user base to help generate spam-free search results using slashtags. Slashtags are filters designed to deliver only relevant results. About slashtags | List of some slashtags

FindHow a search engine for How to's. "To empower people to achieve success at every task, in whatever role and stage of life they are in, by simplifying and speeding access to trusted, reliable How-To content on the Internet. "

FOTOSEARCH is a commercial site for images, but, as was pointed out to me, you don't have to use the images. You could just view them. At upwards of $400 per picture students are unlikely to be dropping these into a presentation. Good for browsing though.

It's hard to imagine some things being any better: the DC-3, college in the 60's, Torvell & Dean. Google, however, continues to add features that improve this "best search engine". Google and Google's Advanced Search are designed to find the most relevant Web pages. This is the search engine by which all others are judged. Start with Google and you probably won't have to go anywhere else.

The Google Apps Learning Center will give you tutorials on all aspects of using these amazing programs. Also more education tips.

Google has several links just above the search entry box plus a "more" link. Click on More and then on Even More to see the range of the free, ad supported products, that Google offers.

Scholar is a search service aimed at academics. It returns citations from offline material such as patents, peer-reviewed papers, theses, pre-prints, abstracts and technical reports as well as internet accessible material.

Also try Google Earth, a free download for satellite and aerial images.

More Google Products

To get a dictionary definition of any word, type define:yourword in the search box. Or add the dictionarysearch extension to Firefox to enable right clicking for a definition.

To find files of a specific type use filetype:xxx where xxx can be xls, pdf, ppt, etc. Example Ford F-100 filetype:pdf

To limit your search to the Title Bar use intltle:"xx xxx" Example intitle: "Sebago mocs "

If you are an aspiring internet research guru check out Google Help Central. The Special Features explains more about cached pages, phone numbers, maps and stock quotes. The "I'm Feeling Lucky" button will take you directly to the top ranked web page, bypassing the list of other sites found.

Richard Byrne in his excellent freetech4teachers web site has tutorials about using Google that you can use yourself or show in your classroom.

Take a new Google search quiz every day.

If you are in a foreign country or, because of your IP, Google thinks you are in a foreign country the search engine will redirect you to a country-specific version of its search engine. Depending on that government's imposed censorship you may not want to be redirected. In that case enter the URL which stands for No Country Redirect.

A metasearch engine that applies your search query to 14 search engines. Ixquick lets you search for MP3 files, photos, and news from six sources in plain English or with Boolean operators. Comprehensive results with few redundancies. Also protects your privacy more than most other search engines.

. searches "Yahoo, Direct Hit, Lycos, Inktomi, and 700 other search engines." They also metasearch specialized engines from around the web.

More like a scrapbook than a search engine, Spezify pulls pages from a large number of websites in different visual ways. It shows you blogs, videos, microblogs and images.

Sweet Search, a search engine for students evaluates more than 35,000 web sites. It ranks more highly credible sources such as academic institutions and primary sources. "SweetSearch helps students find outstanding information, faster. It enables them to determine the most relevant results from a list of credible resources, and makes it much easier for them to find primary sources. We exclude not only the spam sites that many students could spot, but also the marginal sites that read well and authoritatively, but lack academic or journalistic rigor."

A search engine and teacher's resource. "At, you'll find primary source materials, interactive student resources and grade-specific research lists." "All of's 55,000 standards-based K-12 lesson plans, student materials, interactive tools and reference materials are reviewed by the nation's leading education organizations to ensure that content is accurate, up-to-date, unbiased and appropriate for students."

Vivisimo is another metasearch engine that clusters listings in folders. A clean design along with options for configuring the page view (only in Internet Explorer) make this new tool worth looking at. They also have a tool bar for Firefox called improbably, Clusty.

Wolfram Alpha is a computational search engine, the search engine you didn't know you needed. While other search engines find things that already exist on the internet, Wolfram Alpha answers questions and also gives detailed information from real sources in the realms of science, math, geography and demographics. It performs numeric calculations on the data and displays the results in graphs and tables. Try searches such as "Leigh, Genevieve", "weather 02575", "isopropyl alcohol" or "gdp usa" (all without quotes).

Image Search

Public Domain Images are available from many sites. This site provides links to some of the major ones.

A list of image search sites from

Old print advertising pages from the Duke University collection.

The British Museum is an "authoritative source of images depicting world culture and history including ceramics, sculpture, prints, drawings, and paintings."

Closer to home the New York Public Library digital collection "provides free and open access to over 800,000 images digitized from the New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more."

ColRD: "Create and share color inspiration with the world."

NBC News Archives On Demand (Subscription) 12,000 broadcast-quality media resources with text transcripts

Sam Low, an island photographer has some stunning views of Martha's Vineyard in his gallery.

Film & Music Search

The BBC, the British bastion of all good things cultural has an archive of "themed collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs from as far back as the 1930s."

Netflix in addition to sending you DVDs by mail has an instant streaming service. The separate simplifies searching for instant movies. Combine it with the Internet Movie Database and all you need is some popcorn. IMDB covers TV shows as well. Joost and Hulu

Pandora internet radio will build a list of like artists from your starting list. Make a radio station and hear streaming music from your favorite artist as well as similar music.

Spotify is the online, on demand music service you can now use. A premium subscription without ads is also available.

LYRICSnMUSIC "A lyric and music search engine for music people by music people. Get Lyrics plus YouTube, Concert Dates, Artwork, and Wikipedia results all on one page." Blowin in the Wind returned 37 entries including one by Marlene Dietrich but not one by Bob Dylan. On the other hand someone more contemporary such as Kate Voegele seemed to do much better. OK, an update. Bob Dylan is now properly represented.

This and That

Hard to find 800 numbers The original site seems to have gone. Here is one site and some alternatives.

Zamzar converts files from one format to another

Hightail (formerly Yousendit) transfer large files person to person, free for smallish large files.

Consumer electronic devices from Retrevo will give you information about your device categorized by manufacturer documentation, reviews and posts.

AVS video editor allows you to edit YouTube videos (windows only) or use the free online snip snip

Zotero "[zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself." You can download this plug in for your browser. Another 'capture anything' site is Evernote, also a plug in. Both of these require you to sign up for a free account.


Abondance, search engines in French. Also see their main page.

Lycos is a directory, as is Yahoo, but with a less cluttered front page. The advanced search features are more powerful than Yahoo's.

Yahoo - useful for drilling down by subjects, preferred by many new users. Yahoo selects a small fraction of the web for inclusion in its directory. However it is a very good small fraction.

There is plenty of information about search engines on the web. (Do a search on "search engine " ).Two search engine tables allow you to compare the commands and the scope of some search engines. Look up a search engine and find its features at

Some basics of searching including Search Engine Links, Search Engine Tips and the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT and NEAR.

What do other people search for? Try Google Zeitgeist

MVRHS Library Main Page

updated 7/14/2013