Douglas Library

 Internet Search  Engines - Information and Links

for a quick lesson on search engines and searching


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Historical Societies Eastern Connecticut Towns

Internet Search Engines and Services


General Search Services | AltaVista | Anzwers | Argus Clearinghouse | Ask Jeeves | Beaucoup | BigHub | | Direct Hit | Direct Search | Dogpile | Excite | FAST Search | Go | Google | HotBot | Internet Public Library | Invisible Web Catalog | Ixquick | Librarians' Index to the Internet | LookSmart | Lycos | Magellan | MetaCrawler | MSN Search | Northern Light | Oingo | Open Directory Project | ProFusion | | Snap | Virtual Search Engines | WebCrawler | | WWW Virtual Library | Yahoo

Filtered Search Services for Families and Children
AOL Kids Only | Ask Jeeves for Kids | Awesome Library for Kids | CyberSleuth Kids | Electric Library | Education World | Family Friendly Search | FamilyWebFiles | GetNetWise | Kids' Almanac | KidsClick! | Kids Search Tools | Librarian's Guide to Cyberspace for Parents and Kids | LinkOpedia Family Web Guide | OneKey | | | Searchopolis | Smart Zones | StudyWeb | Super Snooper | TekMom Search Tools for Students | Yahooligans | Zeek Search

Categories of Search Services
General Search Engines | Filtered Search Services | Subject Directories | Directories of Search Engines | Meta Search Engines | Virtual Libraries | Image Search Engines | Database Search Services | Religious Search Services

Help with Searching
Learning more
| Evaluating Information



Here are some general search engines that provide very large databases of the text of millions of World Wide Web pages.

At AltaVista you can search not only for Web pages but also for images, video and audio. You can also search for Web pages in foreign languages.

Google ranks Web pages based on other related pages that link to them. Google also provides special searching for US Government publications.

HotBot provides a search form to make searching easier. You can also search for specific media (such as image, audio, MP3 and video) and Web technologies (such as JavaScript and ActiveX).

At Northern Light you can search not only for Web pages but also for magazine and newspaper articles. Northern Light organizes your search results into handy Custom Folders.


Filtered search services use special software that attempts to filter out sites containing adult content, such as pornography and violence. Some of the major search engines, such as AltaVista, Go and Excite, allow you to choose filtered searching. Other services provide special searching for families and children.

General Search Engines with Choices for Filtered Searching

At AltaVista you can choose Family Filter with password protection. You can also report offensive pages.

On the Advanced Search page, choose the Adult Content Filter for each search you conduct.

Select the Kids link to activate GoGuardian. You can search by either topic or keyword.

Search Services for Families and Children

AOL Kids Only
In addition to filtered searching, AOL Kids Only provides special online resources for children, such as ePLAY, and National Geographic World Online.

Ask Jeeves for Kids
Ask Jeeves for Kids! is designed for children aged 7 – 14. Kids can search using a natural language question, such as "Why is the sky blue?"

GetNetWise reviews many software products for filtering. Some are online systems, while others must be installed on your computer.

KidsClick! is a subject directory for children and people who work with children. References to Web sites include a brief description, whether or not the site includes illustrations, and the reading level of the site.

Searchopolis focuses on education and is designed for teachers and children. Registered users have access to special features, such as GradeChecker and Searchopolis Calendar.

Yahooligans is a subject directory designed by Yahoo especially for children aged 7 – 12.


Subject directories provide databases created by human editors who review and categorize Web sites by topics, such as Education or Health. provides access to the complete Encyclopaedia Britannica, Web sites selected for quality by Britannica editors, articles from popular magazines, and Books in Print.

Looksmart editors find quality sites on the Web and index them under thousands of categories. Pornographic and violent sites are excluded from this directory.

Open Directory Project
Open Directory is structured much like Yahoo and, like other subject directories, uses many volunteer editors to identify and evaluate sites.

Yahoo, a highly respected subject directory, is one of the most popular sites on the World Wide Web. Web sites are compiled both by editors searching the Web and by Webmasters submitting their sites for Yahoo consideration.


Directories of search engines categorize links to hundreds of search services under broad topics or subjects.

Beaucoup organizes many search services under such categories as Computer, Society and Media. You can also search a number of search engines at the same time.

Virtual Search Engines
Virtual Search Engines organizes links to over 1,000 search services into various subject categories, such as E-Mail, Games and Recipes.


A meta search engine lets you use several search engines (or other Web information services) at the same time or from one site.

Dogpile submits your search to a wide variety of search services on the Web. The Custom Search feature at Dogpile lets you choose the order in which specific search services are searched.

meta search engine is able to submit your search to each search engine in the correct form, and it awards a star to any result found in the “top ten” of a search engine. You can also search for news stories, MP3 files, and pictures.

MetaCrawler submits your search to ten search services. Duplicate results are clustered together.

At ProFusion you can search up to nine search engines. You can select one of several criteria for choosing which search engines to search, such as the best 3 or the fastest 3.

Here you can customize your search to many categories of search services, including search engines, subject directories, Usenet, e-mail addresses, newspapers, magazine articles, encyclopedias, images, movies, recipes, MP3, sports, and more.


Virtual Libraries find, evaluate and organize a wide range of information resources on the Internet, including not only Web sites but also special databases.

Internet Public Library
The heart of the Internet Public Library is The Reference Center, where you can select different virtual collections, such as Arts and Humanities, Science and Technology and Business and Economics.

Librarians' Index to the Internet
The Librarians' Index to the Internet organizes Internet information resources into more than forty broad categories, such as Language and Languages. The Librarians' Index to the Internet gives you access to many specialized databases which cannot be located through other search engines.

WWW Virtual Library
The WWW Virtual Library claims to be the "oldest catalog of the Web." Information resources are organized under broad subject categories, or you can search using keywords.


The graphical capabilities of the World Wide Web make it a tremendous resource for finding and using images ranging from art reproductions to photographs and clip art.

The Amazing Picture Machine
The Amazing Picture Machine is "an index to graphical resources on the Internet," and it provides excellent collections of links to Web image resources. A unique feature is an informative page on how to use pictures effectively in lesson plans.

Corbis is a searchable database of thousands of digital images, some available through licensing, others royalty-free.
At you can search by keyword or by themes, such as Holiday or Entertainment.

Lycos Multimedia Search
Lycos Multimedia Search provides searching for pictures, sound, movies, and streams (such as streaming video). There is also a special search for finding MP3 files.


A lot of the most useful information on the World Wide Web can be found in specialized databases. Since general search engines cannot access and index most of these databases, they are often referred to as "the invisible Web."

BigHub organizes over 3,000 searchable databases. Each database is briefly described, and you can access the database directly from the BigHub site.

Direct Search
Direct Search provides links to over 1,000 specialized, searchable databases. Broad subject categories are available for browsing.

Invisible Web Catalog
The Invisible Web Catalog at Lycos provides access to many searchable databases. You can browse through various subject categories or search by keyword. The Lycos Search Guard is available, as elsewhere at this search service, to filter out Web sites with adult content. describes itself as "an Internet Database Portal." Databases are evaluated before being included, and a description is provided for each database.


Best of the Christian Web
Christian Web Search is hosted by (Best of the Christian Web). Searching is limited to the Christian Web directory, and other services include e-mail, chat rooms, live radio and games.
At the user can search as broadly as the Web or as specifically as the Bible. The service includes a subject directory and other services, such as chat rooms and e-mail.

Goshen Net
GOSHEN stands for "Global Online Service Helping Evangelize Nations." Beyond filtered searching, Goshen provides such additional services as devotionals, religion news, a directory, greeting cards and shareware.

Maven is labeled, "The Jewish Portal." A subject directory of Jewish-related Web sites and resources is available. Other services include art, film and theatre, radio and summer camps.

Shamash is maintained by the Hebrew College in Massachusetts, and searching of "the Jewish Web" is provided by the Excite search engine.



As search services grow and attempt to improve, they often change how they look and operate. There are many online tutorials to teach you better searching techniques. Here are some Web sites for keeping up to date and learning more.

Search Engine Showdown
This site provides information on all aspects of search services. Subjects include Search Features, Search Strategies and Reviews (of search services).

Search Engine Watch
Search Engine Watch keeps an eye on developments in the world of search services. You can subscribe to the monthly Search Engine Report Newsletter, an electronic mailing list.

Sink or Swim: Internet Search Tools & Techniques
This is an online workshop on how to use search services more effectively.

Web Searching, Sleuthing and Sifting
Here are six tutorials designed for newcomers.



Once you have found information on the Internet, you need to evaluate it critically. Here are two excellent sites providing references and exercises on evaluating Internet resources.

Evaluating Web Resources

Evaluation of Information Sources


The AltaVista search engine is included in a list following these descriptions. Scroll down to use several different search engines
One of the largest and most comprehensive, indexing over 250 million Web pages. Scooter, the Web robot updates constantly. It is a full-text index that searches the entire HTML file.

AltaVista has a simple search and tabs for advanced search, Images, MP3/Audio & Video. Simple search may give results from four different sources. A Real Name System matches search terms against registered Web sites, brand names and advertising slogans. A Real Name address link is displayed above other hits and will link to a single match or short list of possible matches. (Do not use a plus or minus or field names which will disable results.) Ask Jeeves provides information from the answer service, relevant categories of Web sites as classified with Open Directory may appear, and the numbered listings from their Web crawler provide the bulk of the results. Advanced searching allows limiting your search by date, language, Boolean searching and proximity searches. Both simple and advanced searches let you limit to title or URL or even specific domain or Web site. You may specify a format field by entering a field name [title,URL, host and links e.g., anchor, applet, image or text] then a colon followed by the search terms. 
Other services

Language capabilities include limiting Web searches to 25 listed languages including the recent addition of Japanese, Chinese and Korean language searching. Machine translation is available between English, French, Italian, Portuguese, German and Spanish. Several more specialty options include "News" for major news stories between six hours to 14 days old; "Discussions" to scan newsgroups; and "Shopping" to match products with a wide range of Web merchants. 

The Lycos search engine is included in a list following these descriptions. Scroll down to use several different search engines
A search engine with a longer existence than many, Lycos is keeping up by strong relevancy ranking capabilities and providing a mix of features. As is the trend with the major search tools, Lycos is a conglomeration of databases, online services and other Internet properties. Top 5% sites with reviews and immediate links to images and sound including MP3 compressed music audio files for downloading are provided. To supplement information accessed by search engines, Lycos has added its Invisible Web Catalog of more than 7,000 specialty search resources. Users can browse the listings or follow the links provided in search results for a topic. By clicking on a link one can access the information in databases that are invisible to search engines. 

Lycos offers both a simple and an advanced search. Their advanced interface includes numerous options to create and to modify the search logic. You can specify that results include the search terms in just the title, the URL or find either complete or partial terms within a specific Web site. There are 25 languages that can be specified for searching. 


Search  for documents in 
Excite  Google


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Tip: to get an exact match, follow your search term with a period.


any all phrase 

between terms.
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Page updated 7 Feb.,2001
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