1. SEARCH ENGINES – EX: Google/Lycos/Oingo/Direct Hit/Fast Search/Northern Light/


Good for finding specific information. Software, (called spiders, webcrawlers, or bots) automatically collect the words on millions of web pages. When you search, you are not actually searching the Web, you are searching a database of words from Web pages.


Search engines go into their internal directory and search for keywords. No two engines contain the same Web Pages. If you don’t find what you are looking for – it’s time to try a different search engine.


Software determines the order the “hits” are listed. Therefore, don’t always assume the first-named site is the best one. Always use more than one search engine, as most of them are incomplete.


2. METASEARCH ENGINES - EX: Metacrawler/ ProFusion/ DogPile/ Ixquick/ SavvySearch/  Inference Find ( and 7metasearch


Metasearch engines function differently internally. They pass the search string into a number of search engines and give the responses from all of them. Good for searching for unusual words, or to get an overview of a subject area.


Allow you to look in multiple Search Tools at the same time; looks in Search Tools you may not even know about; and teaches you new Search Tools


3. PORTALS - EX: Yahoo/


Good for finding popular information, such as sports scores, or stock quotes.


Portals are enormous, and they try to provide such a wide variety of information and services that they sometimes respond with too much information.


4. DIRECTORIES AND INDEXES - EX: Yahoo/ Magellan/  Argus Clearinghouse, Librarian’s Index to the Internet/AcademicInfo/InfoSurf/PublicLibrary/


Directories are websites which allow you to browse the web by subject.  Whereas search engines let us search using keywords, Indexes and Directories are collections of Web Pages organized by subject. Good for browsing for topics and finding relatively good quality sites. They are organized by subject, and are maintained by people rather than electronically. They have fewer web sites than search engines, but focus on including respected sites.


An Index is basically the same as a Directory, but the quality is usually better. The difference is in who maintains it. In a Directory, it is anyone – whoever the Organization hires. With an Index, you have someone who is trained in this kind of thing. Try, which is the Librarian’s Index and is designed and maintained by librarians.