Riverside Public Library

Riverside Public Library

Search the Web

A selective listing of internet directories and search engines.

Basics for the Serious Searcher

Search Engine Showdown News: The User's Guide to Web Searching
Greg Notess's web site of searching techniques. Includes links to the Search Engine Features Chart (compares features including Boolean logic, proximity, truncation, fields, etc. to popular search engines including Google, Yahoo, Gigablast, etc), web statistics, (comparing the largest web search engines), Internet news, and an archive of past issues.

Wayback Machine: Internet Archive
The Wayback Machine allows you to search over 85 billion archived web pages and see what a particular page look like at various periods in Internet time. A search yields a list of what pages are available for what dates as far back as 1996. Also archives moving images, texts, and audio.

Tiny URL.com
Makes long URLs usable! Are you sick of posting URLs in emails only to have it break when sent causing the recipient to have to cut and paste it back together? By entering in a URL in a text field, a tiny URL is created that won't break in email postings and never expires.

Tool Kit for the Expert Web Searcher
From the ALA's Library and Information Technology Association. Extensive links to subject guides, search engines, news searching, metasearch engines, search engine collections, global searching and multimedia searching.

About.com: Web Search
Valuable and timely information about search engine optimization and web search strategies. Click on Essentials for links to Web Search Starters, Internet 101, Search Dictionary, etc. Also, click on articles and resources for links to Search Engine Marketing, How to Search, and much more.


Finding Information on the Internet
This tutorial presents the substance of the Internet Workshops (current schedule) offered year-round by the Teaching Library at the University of California, Berkeley. The content on this site has been updated to reflect the latest trends in search engines, directories, and evaluating web pages. Tutorials include, "Beyond General Web Searching,""Three Families or Types of Search Tools,""What is the Internet and the World Wide Web?" and much more.

Search Engine Tutorial Sites
Recommended search engine tutorial sites from Refdesk.com. Tutorial sites include Search Engine Watch, Finding Information on the Internet: A Tutorial, Tutorial: Guide to Effective Searching of the Internet and much more. Links to search engine by type (apartments to white pages), or search engine by service (AOL NetFind to Yahoo).

Search Strategies: Tips & Techniques

Jux2 was created as a comparative research tool which answers the question, "How different are the search engines, and is one any better than the others?" Search engines are more different than people think, typically sharing fewer than 3.5 of their top 10 results. Jux2 gives you the opportunity to compare Google, MSN, and Yahoo simultaneously, and will tell you how much each search engine overlaps the other.

Thumbshots.com Ranking
A great teaching tool for showing the need to use more than one search engine. Thumbshots Ranking is a fun way to learn about search engines and optimizing a site's ranking. Your ranking determines the amount of traffic you will likely get. For example, enter a search term, and then choose two different search engines to compare.(Alta Vista versus Wisenut etc).

NoodleTools: Information Literacy-Search Strategies
Excellent pathfinder for choosing the best search for your information need. This chart provides an extensive list of information needs and its corresponding search strategy. For example, if you need a site just for kids, advice from experts, or just need an answer to a quick fact, the chart will link you to a few sites which will address your specific need.

The Virtual Chase
Excellent source for evaluating the quality of information on the Internet. Researchers should evaluate the quality of information appearing online or in print based on five criteria: scope of coverage, authority, objectivity, accuracy and timeliness. This guide defines the criteria, documents incidents of questionable, false or fraudulent information as reported in the news or trade literature, provides examples of Web sites that illustrate good or bad information, and suggests strategies that help you detect bad information.

Web Directories: General

Yahoo! Search Directory
Yahoo is the best known of the general Web directories. It offers well-organized content and an excellent collection of tools, including country-specific versions of the directory, groups, free-email, a calendar and channels on topics such as travel and health. It also offers news, stock quotes, maps and many other services.

Open Directory Project
"The largest, (currently more than 4 million sites) most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web." Constructed and maintained by over 74,000 volunteer editors, with over 590 searchable categories.

Look Smart
Based in San Francisco. LookSmart is one of the larger and better-known directories. It is used by AltaVista, AltaVista Australia, Anzwers, MSN Search, and Go2Net. If no hits are found in LookSmart, results from AltaVista are shown, and these may include RealNames results as well. Vertical Search allows you to search categories, save what you like and share what you want.

Best of the Web
A comprehensive directory categorizing content-rich, well designed websites. Whether the topic at hand is choosing a college, refinancing a mortgage or planning a party, BOTW is the first stop of many an Internet user.

Web Directories: Specialized

Internet Public Library
The University of Michigan, School of Information, created a great collection of ready reference links, including almanacs, biographies, dictionaries and other reference sources.

Reference Desk.com
Refdesk aims to index, review, and publish quality, credible information-based Web sites and to assist readers in navigating and extracting needed data from these sites. Highly recommended!

Academic Info is an online subject directory of over 25,000 hand-picked educational resources for high school and college students as well as a directory of online degree programs and admissions test preparation resources (SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, USMLE, TOEFL). We also offer timely news and analysis of critical events including the Iraq War, Afghanistan Reconstruction, Hurricane Katrina recovery, and the War on Terrorism.

Special Issues: Price's List of Lists
Compiled by Gary Price, this site is a list of lists on people, events, organizations, subject categories. It's enormous.

WWW Virtual Library
The WWW Virtual Library (VL) is the oldest catalog of the Web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of html and the Web itself, in 1991 at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Unlike commercial catalogs, it is run by a loose confederation of volunteers, who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they are expert; even though it isn't the biggest index of the Web, the VL pages are widely recognized as being amongst the highest-quality guides to particular sections of the Web.

Search Engines

The search engine formerly known as Ask Jeeves has changed greatly from its early days as a question/answer matching service to being a real Web search engine using a database originally developed by Teoma. The question-answering tradition continues in Ask's shortcuts that give a direct answer for many popular query types right at the top of regular search results.

Debuting in beta form July 2002, this newer search engine has some very nice features, including cached pages and good date reporting. While it does lack some advanced search features, it include PDF, Word, PowerPoint, PostScript and Excel files. In addition, the Gigablast website provides unique "Gigabits" of information, enabling visitors to easily refine their search based upon related topics from search results.

The favorite search engine for the majority of search engine users. Among its many features includes: images (largest image search database on the web), groups, directory, news, language search, number of results per page, safe search option, limiting retrieval to a specific language or country of origin, country-specific versions (currently over 77 countries), etc. Extensive advance search capabilities, title searching, url searching, link searching, date searching, file type and much more. Visit About Google to learn about Google's products and services.

HotBot is one of the oldest web search engines. Offers easy form-based Boolean, field and media search options and clusters results by presenting one hit per site. Advanced search features include word filter, language, domain and block offensive content.

Live Search
Live Search is the successor to MSN Search. Sometimes called just Live.com or Windows Live Search, this is the Microsoft Web search engine. Launched in September 2006, it uses its own, unique database and also has separate News, Images, Questions and Answers (QnA), Local, Video, Feeds and Academic databases.

Wisenut's most outstanding feature is its "WiseGuide Categories" that appear on results pages and are generated based on semantic relationships of words in your search. These categories allow easy and effective narrowing of search results. No advanced searching.

Search Engine Showdown Reviews
Greg Notess discusses the search features, databases and other aspects of interest to searchers. This includes links to primary search engines (Google, Yahoo!), secondary web search engines (Exalead, Gigablast), Directories (LookSmart, Open Directory), Searchable News Databases (Altavista News, HotBot News,), and Dead Search Engines (AlltheWeb, AltaVista, Excite, Infoseek, Lycos, etc.).

Metasearch Engines

"All the best search engines piled into one." Searches 20+ search engines and retrieves results by relevance or separate source engine. Results are returned separately for each search engine and the first 10 for each are shown.

Search engines, directories, news and MP3 files. Ranks results based on top ten ranks from the source sites. Allows any type or search syntax and will translate and direct your search accordingly.

Metacrawler makes searching more of the Web easier by returning the best results from these leading engines: Google, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves, About, LookSmart, Overture and Find What. Retrieve results in relevancy-ranked order. Power search offers a user-friendly template for building a query.

Vivisimo searches multiple engines (Search Top News, USDA, BBC, Yahoo News, etc.) and directories and organizes results into topical categories.

Specialty Search Engines

FindSounds: Search the Web for Sounds
A free site where you can search the Web for sound effects including: animals (pigs), birds (raven), holidays (fireworks), household (toaster), insects (bee), mayhem (fight), musical instrument (harp), nature (tornado), sports (baseball), TV & Movies (Flintstones), vehicles (collision), and more.

Picsearch is a search engine for pictures and images and has many features which make it unique. Advanced features include animations, color/black and white, and size. Picsearch has a family friendliness that allows children to surf in safety as all offensive material is filtered.


Ask for Kids
Ask for Kids (formerly known as Ask Jeeves for Kids) is a fast, easy and kid-friendly way for kids to search online. Designed to be a fun destination site focused on learning and "edu-tainment," Ask for Kids uses natural-language technology that allows kids to ask questions and perform web searches, such as "When did Hawaii become a state?" or "What's it like to live in space?"or even "Convert 122 inches into feet" in the same way they would ask a parent, friend or teacher.

Internet Advocate
A Web-based Resource Guide for Librarians and Educators interested in providing youth access to the Internet. Includes a special section on developing an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).

Children's Literature Web Guide
Internet resources related to books for children and young adults. Excellent source!

Keeping Current

Search Engine Watch
Reviews and ratings of search engines, searching techniques, search toolbars, an up-to-date of the best search engines, and kids search engines. Edited by Danny Sullivan, an Internet consultant and journalist.

Free Pint
A U.K. based site by Will Kann providing a free e-mail newsletter with tips on Internet searching and reviews of web sites .

Search Day
Search Day is a free daily newspaper from Search Engine Watch featuring web search news, reviews, tools, tops and search engine headlines from across the web.

Mary Ellen Bates - Tip of the Month
Mary Ellen Bates, renowned information guru, provides a free monthly "tip of the month" e-newsletter, of valuable information to all searchers. Previous tips archive includes Finding Authoritative Sources, Googling Better, Is This For Real? Things Learned By Accident, and Quick Answers To Odd Questions.

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