PSE - Web Search Tools
[Skip to the BIG ones]
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We all know there is lots of information on the Internet. The promise of
something for everybody, information at your fingertips. But finding that
information can be a daunting task. This page attempts to collect links to
sites all around the web which help you find what you're looking for. I
don't claim that this is a one-stop complete reference - there are far too
many things on the net for me to even attempt to be comprehensive. However,
I do believe that many of the sites presented here should cover a vast
majority of the big search sites -- the ones that together probably represent
95% or so of the actual searches performed on the net.
The easy way to use this page is to save it to your local hard disk, and to
make a local bookmark to it with whatever software you use. Periodically
check back here for updates to this page (the modification date at the
top represents the most recent modification to this page).
If you're seriously interested in finding things when you want to find them,
I highly suggest you read through the descriptions of the various search
tools, and perform sample searches on them. You might not need to find
something right now, but you'll be in a much better position to find
it when you do need to if you're aware of the facilities that are available.
Don't wait until you need to get somewhere in a hurry before you first learn
And, please do me a favour: if you should come across a useful web searching
resource that isn't listed here, please EMail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org information about the link, and I'll see about adding it here for
I started to make this page an attempt at being a fairly comprehensive list
of search tools, several of which I use, and found it started to get way out
of hand (as evidenced by the number of links here -- I stopped actively
counting them when the list passed 100. There are currently over 150 links).
As this page can bear testimony: The net isn't lacking in information or
resources -- often your problem won't be NOT finding something, but rather
trying to find it in the array of information you DO find. I wish you luck.
The BIG ones. The ones you should keep track of, because alone, they'll
handle most of your queries, and generally faster than any of the others.
Reguardless of whether you are currently looking for information, browsing
these sites right now will give you a better idea of what you can expect to
locate via these services:
(not listed in any particular order)
SavvySearch is a
multiple-engine front end,
which submits your search request to other engines, and presents you with the
combined results. This isn't an engine which simply asks which other service
to use -- it uses them automatically, and the results are reported with which
service found them. This uses Yahoo, OpenText, WebCrawler, Lycos, plus
PathFinder, DejaNews, InfoSeek, FTPSearch95, Galaxy, Inktomi, SIFT,
PointSearch, YellowPages, Internet Movie Database, CSTR, Virtual Software
Library, Aliweb, NIKOS, and TribalVoice (all of which are individually
available from the page you are viewing). And the list is added to
regularly. Is that enough different engines? Of course, with all this
capability, it is worth noting that this is an experimental interface... I
sure hope it survives. BTW - Since THEY submit the search requests, I
belive their access to InfoSeek bypasses you entirely, meaning this tool may
allow you to continue to access InfoSeek without having to subscribe. Did I
mention it is multilingual too? I put this at the top of the list because it
is the tool I usually use to find things myself - so I fibbed, there is some
small modicum of order to the search tool listing.
Yahoo is one of the major web
resource searching tools, with
its data presented in a hierarchical, topical index. If you haven't heard
of Yahoo, you haven't been paying much attention.
DejaNews allows you to
search Usenet news for
specific text. The beauty of it is that they archive for some months of
historical posts (at least about four months back, if not more), and Usenet
can contain a LOT of discussions about topics of interest, and have pointers
to resources -- which become links inside the viewed documents from this
service. Very cool. When I'm looking for something from very specific to
vague, this is one of my first stops. Try searching on the partial URL you
have. There's a good chance it'll come up -- plus many URLs found in news
articles are linked from the display, so you can just go there... This is an
excellent search tool, since you can find things which in and of themseleves
are not web resources, but passing conversations on the net.
DEC Alta Vista. Digital
Equipment Corp. just brought a new site online. It does web as well as news
searches. They have a versatile query language (which allows you to narrow
your search using logic operators). Personally, I've found their news archive
to be lacking (DejaNews is much better, IMHO).
Open Text is the technology underneath
the original Yahoo, and the creators of it run their own site. This puppy
is FAST. Their database is created by following URLs around the web and
copying the contents of the pages they point to, indexing them, and then
allowing this engine to
search the database.
Lycos is one of the more popular,
but often crowded (the drawback of being popular) search sites. This searches
more than just WWW -- it also searches gopher and FTP, which means this site
is sure to turn up SOMETHING. It is one of several web-searching "bots", and
includes the ability to sumbit the URLs of your own documents, so that they
can be found by other surfers. Also: Lycos
at an alternate site (actually, the Lycos one, but I find this is ofttimes
slower). It can also be found at another
You can also get help.
The Lycos Home Page: Hunting WWW Information
CUSI at Internet Direct.
(CUSI = Configurable Unified Search Engine) This is a VERY handy starting
point page for a variety of searches. They tie in almost all the major web
search tools, and provide a single interface to launch queries through the
various sites. The original search query stays in effect between same-session
searches. It support all sorts of searches - not just web: people, files,
documents (like RFCs and draft standards), DICTIONARIES (ever wonder what
"FUBAR" means? Check out the Hacker's Dictionary). This is one helluva
useful link. Expect it to improve. Also: CUSI at Nexor web and
CUSI at Nexor pubweb.
Virtually Unlimited is a page
of other search tool links, and pointers to useful information.
InfoSeek Net Search Infoseek provides
access many Web pages, as well as continuous newswires, business, computer,
scientific, and health publications. After an evaluation period on this system
though, use of this service is subscription only (i.e. it is a COMMERCIAL service).
The commercial service (at US$.10 per query) also provides search access to
newsgroups, whereas the free service only searches the web.
The McKinley is Netcom's "partner
in Web indexing technology". A growing list of searchable sites.
Helps locate information on the Internet. While it can find an impressive
amount of information, since it indexes on content (not just a few keywords), it
can often return a lot of unrelated documents which happen to make reference
to some of your query terms. To its credit, it does a good job of organizing
the documents it finds according to how closely they matched your search.
Also: WebCrawler at WSU.
Useful links, search tools, and lists:
(in no specific order)
LEO - Munich Music Archive. This
isn't really a SEARCH tool, but it is a browseable online database of lyrics
for a growing list of popular songs.
Domain Country Code Lookup. A little thing I wrote to tell you what country/function a specific domain is associated with.
Nothing fancy, but it'll you that mail.fubar.ch should be in Switzerland.
DriverFinder. Locates updated Win95 and NT drivers.
IWeb Welcome Page
Library of Information Resources
InterNIC Database Services (Public Databases)
Gopher Index gopher://ds.internic.net:4320/7netfind dblookup
Gopher Index gopher://ds.internic.net:4320/7whois ds.internic.net
WWPR Profile Search
Seanet Yellow Web Pages (Index)
WWW Jump Pad
The English Server at CMU
Index to Multimedia Information Sources
Web 13 WWW Search
Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists
Wandex, the World Wide Web Wanderer Index
The Internet Sleuth
Netscape What's New.
What's New Too!.
The Internet Movie Database, and a direct
link to search. This is an
excellent tool for looking up who was in a movie, or what movies someone was in.
EachMovie.com is an interesting tool.
Not exactly a SEARCH engine in the normal theme -- it actually is a tool which
recommends movies you may be interested in based on other movies you indicate
Starting Point MetaSearch. This is a
multi-engine search tool which formats a single query for manual submission
to various search engines, but unlike SavvySearch, it doesn't submit them.
NlightN. It has a very basic search interface, but
offers searching of Information Databases, News Briefings, Archived News, Desktop
References, Titles in a Discount Bookstore, and a WWW Internet Index. The catch:
It is commercial. I'd say, if you're looking for something of a general
reference nature, or which appears in a newspaper publication, this would be
a good place to poke around.
Inktomi. A good friend of mine
indicates that this tool came up with some elusive information he couldn't
find via other tools, so perhaps if you're having trouble finding something,
or it is way off the beaten path, you should swing by here and have a look.
Netcom WebNews. This is a
Netcom customer-only news feature. It lists current news items of interest,
as well as other stuff.
Excite. Searches Web documents (1.5 Million,
refreshed weekly so they say), Usenet, and Usenet Classifieds. Only a 2
week history on Usenet though. This is a service to watch...
All-in-One Search Page. A page of links to engines.
Archie. An FTP file finder.
The Victory List, a list of
search sites constructed by another Netcom user.
Internet Search Engines
Meta Crawler. Similar to SavvySearch,
it submits your request to multiple search engines simultaniously, and
integrates the results for presentation. Also at an
Apollo is an advertising search tool (and web page service).
Mark "Baron Von" Reichman's Search Page. Another
combined search tool page.
Search Central. You guessed it: a centralized search page.
Web Search Engines. Another list. Search forms on page.
Rick Search's Homepage.
As of the last time I took a look, among the variety of personal and informational links he has,
he lists several search links at the bottom of his page.
Another Web Directory. Hey, the name says it all.
Another Search Directory. Oddly
simiar to the one above. Where ever do they come up with these names?
Search Tools. This page lists some good
Query Interface to the CS Technical Report Harvest Broker
Help for Broker Queries
Query Interface to the PC Software Harvest Broker
Tom's Cool Connections. Lists many of
the same resources listed here, and many I don't.
New City Global Mall. They've got a big list of
James Cook University Search Services. North Queensland.
Christopher "Fur" Garry's W3 Search Engines page. Another collection.
Virtual Software Library. Find files on the net.
Internet Movie Database.
CSTR. This is a document index offering
search facilities. Documents are generally of the technical and thesis type. Some
very cool stuff can be found with this if you're into technical reading.
Websearchers and Information Sites.
The JumpStation Search Page.
WebSearch. A gopher based searcher
Subject Listings & Web Searching.
CCA Web Search.
ZIBIS Search Engine. WAIS search.
The Usenet News Finder
SIFT. A News search tool, similar to DejaNews.
TradeWave/EInet Galaxy. In addition
to conventional keyword search, they also have a subject tree. This is pretty much
a topic sorted web site list with 'Search the Galaxy' feature. It lists
'frequent word' counts as well as brief descriptions. A useful resource which
should be part of anyone's toolbox.
RBSE URL Search. and at an
Provides multiple search forms and devices that search across databases
The Whole Internet Catalog.
CUI W3 Catalog Semi-automated global index.
CUI WWW Search Engines. A list of other search engines available on the net.
Manually maintatined site (therefore not as up to date as some others).
CityScape On-Line Directory
Using the Internet - McGill Philosophy. A well organized
page listing services available on the net (not comprehensive, but a good start). Includes links
to mailing lists, email addresses, and some guides to internet tools.
Searching the Internet.
A page offering links to some useful search engines.
World Wide Web Worm - a Big database. Compiled by Oliver McBryan.
Lean-and-mean, it builds its index based strictly on page titles and URL contents.
The drawback to this is that it is less inclusive, but those pages it does
find are more likely to be an exact match with your needs, and may generally
be better organized content anyway, since the pages will have needed to
key the subject matter in the TITLE area (which all pages SHOULD do, but many don't).
Amdahl's Internet Exploration Page.
Eurolink Searches European web sites
CityScape Global On-Line Directory. A manually maintained site.
Joel's Hierarchical Subject Index
A "user supported" database -- you enter interesting sites, and they become
available for others to search on as well.
This search mechanism "mines" the Internet for new URLs (Uniform Resource
Locators) and adds them to the Internet Resouce database.
refers to your local News system for the actual articles (which may no longer exist). This requires a
news-capable browser (i.e. NOT NetCruiser).
Internet World Magazine. This is a
link to a WEb Guide provided by a magazine publisher. Worth the stop.
WWW Home Ports for Individuals and Corporations
Widow's Web A homepage list.
(Spider's Web) Hot Links Menubar (drop down)
Scott Yanoff's list of Internet Resources
The Complete Home Page Directory
UMich SILS Subject Reference Page
NCSA World Wide Web Starting Points Document
Experimental Search Engine Meta-Index
Searching the Web.
Useless Home Pages
John December's Search Hints
John December's list of Internet Resources
Internet Distribution Services
The Topography of Planet Shmooze
Time Warner Pathfinder. Try starting entertainment searches here.
Film and Video Indexes
World Wide Web Servers Listing of web servers around the globe.
Commercial Web Servers Listing of commercial servers.
University WWW Servers
Government Agency Servers
Government WWW resources relating to the Environment
Internet Education Resources Guide.
Enterprise Integration Technologies Web Resources
(CERN) The World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Subject Catalogue
Global Information Server
Search & Find--Internet Resource Locators.
Useful web tools:
(Tools I've found to be useful on a number of occasions, and are at least
moderatley related to searching)
WEB Finger Tool. This
is a tool which allows fingering accounts via web links (instead of having to
use a finger client directly). To use in your own web page, enter the domain
name after the path in the link, a slash, and then the userid. Follow that by
another slash and a w for some special formatting that the tool provides:
(Resources to use when trying to locate someone)
I should mention that many of the conventional search tools will prove useful
in tracking people down -- DejaNews and other Usenet news search tools are
quite good at locating news postings originating from a specific individual.
If the person is likely to have a web page of their own, you might find them
through a number of other search tools as well. Several of the search tools
here cover non-net information (that is, the person you're looking for doesn't
need to be on the net, and the information returned may not include an EMail
address even if they have one). Your best bet is to use several tools to
conduct your search, using information gleaned from one tool to assist with
narrowing the search in another.
WhoWhere? A unified people and organization locator.
LookUP Directory Services. A user finder.
World Wide Yellow Pages. Search for businesses on the net. Add to the list.
YellowPages. Another Yellow pages site. Specifically,
the New Rider's Yellow pages.
411 Find people on the net. Add yourself to the list.
Switchboard Find people on the net. Add yourself to the list.
World EMail Directory is somewhat similar
to 411, but currently seems to be nowhere near as extensive. However, that
doesn't mean you should pass over it in performing a search.
NetFind. A White-pages
directory search of the Internet. This is a good way to search for someone.
NetFind. The official InterNIC netfind utility.
MIT Usenet name server.
This IS NOT a web page, but is instead a mail-based people finder. This
service can help to locate people on the net. If they've ever posted to a
distributed Usenet group (that is, a newsgroup which isn't a newsgroup which
remains local to a single service -- most newsgroups qualify), then there
exists a good chance MIT has logged them. This service will mail you back a
log of the people matching the keywords you've given. It accepts commands in
It can accept multiple such lines in a request. The commands go in the BODY
of the message, not in the SUBJECT. The report may take several hours to
generate and reply, and will consist of AT MOST 50 names per keyword.
Suggested keywords are whatever you think might most uniquely identify the
person -- a nickname you know they go by, or expected account names (the
person's initials, or concatenations of their first and last names). Don't
search by a first name like "Dave" and expect your friend is going to show
up in the 50 names returned -- too many names will match on a common keyword.
Searching on the user's name using Usenet news searching tools (such as
DejaNews and SIFT) will often work well in locating people.
Another possibility is using the products from
Pro CD, Inc., who produce phonebooks on
CD-ROM. Their page usually allows you to perform some sample searches (not
the whole database, but perhaps just a single areacode). The product is
really very good (I've purchased several updates over the years) - reverse
search from phone numbers, partial names, addresses, you name it. BUT -
this doesn't give you an EMail address - this is simply a fully-indexed
national telephone directory. I find it quite useful, and opted to include
it here since so many of the requests I get for information on how to locate
an old buddy apparently isn't always in relation to the Net...
American Directory Assistance
HEP Virtual Phonebook
Ultimate White Pages.
This is a very useful search tool which allows you to do REVERSE phone number
searches in addition to the regular searches. This means if you have a phone
number and want to find out where it is or who lives there, this may be the
tool for you. Keep in mind, you'll only get results for published listings.
World Yellow Pages Network
Yahoo! People Search. This
is supposed to be a white-pages phonebook search of the US.
Yahoo! - Business and Economy:Companies:Information:Investigative Services
This is a link to the Yahoo section on IS.
1-800-U.S. SEARCH is a fee-based
people locator. Pricey, but if you REALLY need to find someone, this might
be the way.
Ancestry, Inc. has links to several
facilities for genealogical purposes. Used correctly, this can be used to
locate living people (don't ask me to explain).
Social Security Administration. A stop
along the highway of locating someone. Possibly.
Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Search.
This is a direct link to the SSDI which is offered from Ancestry, Inc.
The alt.adoption FAQ
may provide you with a wealth of other resources for tracking someone down.
The KnowX is a public records
search facility. They charge money, but their ability to locate someone
isn't restricted to data normally found on the net (that is, Aunt Hilda
doesn't need to have a webpage in order for you to find her).
The Electronic Mail FAQ
provides a number of useful resources for locating email addresses.
Address finding tools is a comprehensive list of network tools available
to locate people on the net.
A few words of caution for people-searchers: Just because a name pops
up as a match in a search, DO NOT assume it is your old friend. You might be
suprised at just how common some "uncommon" names are. Some people don't
react nicely when their privacy is invaded by someone presuming they are some
old friend (or debtor, or whatever). You should probably get into
recognizing the domain names of systems
(check my Domain Country Code Lookup tool for doing
just this), so you can more easily weed out false hits (for instance, if the
domain ends in .fi it is a system in Finland -- do you REALLY expect that is
where your long lost friend is?). While we're at it - try to remember that
not everyone understands English.
Law search tools.
American Law Sources On-line, (ALSO!)
is a comprehensive compilation of links to all on-line sources of American
law that are available free of charge. Law resources are limited to North America.
FindLaw is a searchable collection of
legal resources. They also have a
LawCrawler tool for searching the
web for legal resources.
The New York Law Journal has a couple of pages of mega links to law resources.
One specializes in General Law, and the other is
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