Tools for Searching the Internet

There are three major types of web pages used to search the internet: Directories, Search Engines, and Meta-Search Engines:

Directories normally provide lists of web pages arranged by subject. These lists are compiled by a human being who uses standards to determine what web pages should be included.

Search engines allow you to search by keyword. Many search engines are databases that are compiled by a computer program. The computer program collects information about the web pages included, but does not evaluate them.

Meta-Search Engines search more than one major search engine at a time, giving you results from multiple search engines in a single search. Like the results from a search engine, the results you receive from a meta-search engine are not evaluated.
Many web searching sites include both a Directory and a Search Engine.

Examples of Directories the Human Internet
This directory is created by "Guides" who focus on specific subject areas and include the best new content, relevant links, How-To's, Forums, and answers to just about any question. There are over 700 Guides sites covering more than 50,000 topics with over 1 million links.

BUBL LINK: Libraries of Networked Knowledge
A catalog of selected internet resources covering all academic subject areas and cataloged according to the Dewey Decimal Classification.

INFOMINE: Scholarly Internet Resource Collections
INFOMINE is intended for the introduction of Internet/Web resources of relevance to faculty, students and research staff at the university level. It includes databases, electronic journals, electronic books, bulletin boards, listservs, online library catalogs, articles, and directories of researchers, among other information. It is compiled primarily by librarians who are part of the university systems in California.

Internet Public Library
The first public library for the Internet community.

One of many search directories that lists sites by topic and provides search capability of sites selected as well.
This site tries to remain well-organized and easy-to-use. It includes lots of factual information such as you would find in an encyclopedia or almanac.

One of the earliest and largest of the web directories. Covers a huge array of topics, but is not very selective about the sites that are included.

Examples of Search Engines

Examples of Meta Search Engines

Search for Software (FTP Archives)

Miscellaneous Internet Search Tools

The only official U.S. Government portal to 47 million plus pages of government information, services and online transactions. Offers a powerful search engine for searching government documents. Also features a topical index, online transactions, links to state and local government, and other tools for accessing government information.

The Scout Report
A weekly publication offering reviews of new and newly discovered Internet Resources of interest to researchers and educators.

OAIster OCLC First Search

OAIster is a collection of freely available academically-oriented digital resources that are easily searchable (including digitized books and articles, born-digital texts, audio files, images, movies, datasets, theses, technical reports, research papers, and image collections). A variety of searching options are available. OAIster currently provides access to 19,906,256 records from 1,082 contributors and is updated quarterly.

Last updated November 18, 2011