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Internet Search Tools

Web Directories | Specialized Search Engines | Search Engines | Metasearch Engines 
= librarian's favorites in each category

Web Directories

Directories of academic resources (high quality for research, but list fewer sites):

  • Academic Info: (features) College-level resources 

  • INFOMINE: (features) More than 20,000 college-level resources arranged by subject by librarians from the University of California.

  • Librarians' Index to the Internet: (features) A subject directory with descriptions of about 7,000 Internet resources selected and evaluated by librarians for their usefulness to the public library user's information needs.

General Directories (list more sites but quality varies):

  • (features): About 1 million sites, arranged by "guides" to different subjects

  • Yahoo: (features) The most popular directory containing about 1 million sites.

Specialized Search Engines

Search Engines

  • AltaVista: (search features) Indexes close to a billion web pages. Has a great deal of search capability and flexibility.

  • Fast Search: (search features) Similar to AltaVista with ranked results.

  • Google: (search features) A very popular search engine covering close to a billion pages.  Often finds "the best" pages.

  • InfoSeek: (search features) Somewhat smaller but very precise.  Allows searching within results to narrow your search.

  • Northern Light: (search features) Will arrange search results into topic "folders," which can be very useful for narrowing your search. Can also search its "special collection," consisting of magazines, newswires, and databases which are pay-per-view ($1-$4). 

Metasearch Engines

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