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Searching the web

Search Engines


Do you have a favorite search engine that we don't have listed here? Please let us know.

Links verified on 9/4/2015


Search Strategies | Search Advice | Clustering Search Engines
  1. 43Marks - This new meta search engine is a customizable bookmark storage page - take a look at a customized sample
  2. About.com - (formerly the Mining Company) is not really a search engine, but they provide an excellent directory.
  3. Academic Reference and Research Index - tens of thousands of academic reference and research sites
  4. AOL Search is a search engine powered by Excite and enhanced by Google.
  5. Ask - type a question the way you would normally ask it
  6. Beaucoup - the ultimate source for free information
  7. Dogpile searches by accessing several search engines. If you have been using the search engine MetaFind, you are now automatically routed to Dogpile.
  8. Entire Web - general purpose search engine
  9. FindSounds.com is a search engine for finding sound effects on the Web.
  10. Giga Blast powerful, new search engine that does real-time indexing
  11. Google ranks the quality of sites based on the quality of sites that link to it.
  12. Google Custom Search Engine - Create your own search engine on specific topics and limit it to just the web sites you want students to use.
  13. Google Maps - street maps or satellite maps, directions and business search, they even have traffic information for some cities
  14. Google Web Search Features - from the Google Help Center
  15. Internet Public Library - The mission of this site is to provide library services to the Internet community, to learn and teach what librarians have to contribute in a digital environment, to promote librarianship and the importance of libraries, and to share interesting ideas and techniques with other librarians.
  16. ixQuick a metasearch engine
  17. KartOO - a metasearch engine with visual display interfaces
  18. Mamma.com - The Mother of All Search Engines - When you enter a query at the Mamma.com web site, Mamma's powerful proprietary technology simultaneously queries 10 of the major Search Engines and properly formats the words and syntax for each source being probed. Mamma then creates a virtual database, organizes the results into a uniform format and presents them by relevance and source.
  19. MetaEureka - a simple text based meta search engine
  20. Mojeek - a clean user interface and minimal on-screen clutter
  21. More at The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines from Read Write Web
  22. Motherpipe - a search engine for people who are concerned with online privacy
  23. Partners in Rhyme provides a huge database of sounds to search.
  24. Safe Google Google's SafeSearch screens for sites that contain inappropriate types of information for students and eliminates them from search results
  25. Search.com posted by c|net and powered by Excite. Their topical index is in the form of a pull-down menu, or a listing of topics they call Specialty Searches.
  26. Simply Google - many search choices arranged in columns
  27. Start - claims to be the world's first Web-based question answering system
  28. Thomas - (as in Thomas Jefferson) Legislative Information on the Internet "Acting under the directive of the leadership of the 104th Congress to make Federal legislative information freely available to the Internet public, a Library of Congress team brought the THOMAS World Wide Web system online in January 1995.
  29. Visual Thesaurus - Really cool way to look up synonyms. It is just a trial version but you can look up a few words at a time without paying.
  30. Webcrawler has a clean new look. No ads, No Banners, No Pop-Ups.
  31. Wayback Machine - Browse through 55 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago.
  32. Wikipedia's list of search engines
  33. Wotbox - small search engines with a fast interface
  34. Yahoo features a topical index as well as a search function. The topical index provides pre-defined search results.
  35. Yippy - clustering search engine
  36. Zanran - numerical data search, source for data and statistics (graphs, charts, and tables)
  37. Zapmeta - I really do like their Quick View feature, give it a try. Although this meta search engine does give a small, manageable number of resources, the first sites listed are commercial sites. Recommendation : Skip the Featured Sponsor Listings and go straight to the Web Site Results section.
  38. Zoo - allows you to search multiple leading search engines at once, returning more comprehensive and relevant results, fast
  39. Zuula - sends query to multiple search engines and then displays the results of each in separate tabs

Clustering Search Engines

  1. Carrot - Carrot organizes your search results into topics giving an instant overview of what's available
  2. Search Cube - Search-Cube is a visual search engine that presents web search results in a unique, three-dimensional cube interface. It shows previews of up to ninety-six websites, videos and images.
  3. Search Engines with Cluster Technology - Over 40 search engines with cluster technology generate different groups of particular topics
  4. Redz - A small number of websites are clustered, with the best fit on top
  5. WebClust - WebClust queries one or more web search engines, parses their result pages to extract the documents (titles, URLs, and short descriptions) and groups the documents based on this information
  6. Yippy - Clusters search results so that you can target a particular topic.

Kid Safe Search Engines

It has always been my recommendation that teachers should search for Internet resources they want their students to use and design lessons/projects/units so that the Internet sites to be used are clearly defined. However, if you plan to send your students searching, use one of the Kid-Safe search engines below:

CyberSleuth Kids - an Internet guide for K-12 kids (warn your students about the ads)
GoGooligans - simple, safe, and kid oriented

Kids Click : A web guide and search tool for kids put together by librarians. Fifteen major categories each with several subcategories, this site has a look similar to Yahoo.

Kids.Net - Search Engine Just for kids & children - Searching safe & clean sites.

KidRex - a fun and safe search for kids, by kids [Don't let T Rex scare you!]
Kid Safe Search Engines - a list of sites from Resources for School Librarians
Kidz Search - When a search is done on KidzSearch.com, it can only return Google "strict" search results .
Mymunka - Mymunka (think monkey) is a safe Search Engine designed just for kids and is Fun and safe for everyone
ithaki.net - a powerful internet metasearch engine developed for kids (age group targeted, kids above 10)
Searchy Pants - create your own safe search page
Squirrel Net - uses safe search filter from Google
Start Squad - pick a topic to start

Search strategies for finding resources to support a classroom unit

Take a look at the list provided by Debbie Abilock titled " Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need ." For example, you might "have a broad academic subject and need pointers to quality sites." If so, Debbie suggests that you go to Librarians' Index to the Internet or Infomine. On the other hand, if you need to see relationships among ideas, she suggests that you use KartOO or Web Brain.

This is a great site, check it out!
Recommended Search Strategy: Analyze your topic & Search with peripheral vision - from University of California, Berkeley


Step 1. Choose a few search engines, and learn how they work

Find 3 - 4 search engines that you are comfortable using and do most of your searches with them. This tutorial will use Vivisimo, which sends search queries to several search engines and then clusters the results. I have found that Vivisimo consistently gives me good results. If you wish to use a different search engine check out the list at the top of this page. There is also a list of Kid Safe Search Engines above.

Tip: Do not search with the button. Go to a search engine's homepage, not where the browser sends you.


Step 2. Use a Clustering search engine (Yippy)

Yippy - This search engine clusters the results by topic. This is the best way to see all of the content of a search, but not have to scroll through pages and pages of information.


Step 3. Searching for pictures

PicSearch - If you are searching for an image, you will probably find it here. Several search engines offer graphics search capability. ( Caution : Image search pages on search engines are blocked by many state filters.)
Internet4Classrooms has a collection of graphics links with a section on picture collections found on the Internet.


Step 4. Search for sounds on the Internet

FindSounds.com is a search engine for finding sound effects on the Web. Search the Web for sound effects and sample sounds. Take a look at the types of sounds you can find. This is a partial list. Many more sounds are available. You may also find a large number of sound files of all types at Partners in Rhyme .


Step 5. Let the purpose of your search determine the search engine to be used.

Take a look at the list provided by Debbie Abilock titled " Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need ." For example, you might "have a broad academic subject and need pointers to quality sites." If so, Debbie suggests that you go to Librarians' Index to the Internet or Infomine. On the other hand, if you need to see relationships among ideas, she suggests that you use KartOO or Web Brain. This is a great site, check it out!


Step 6. If you feel comfortable as an Internet sleuth, move on to discover how to evaluate web sites.

The University of California, Berkeley has an exercise in evaluating web sites. Essentially a WebQuest on evaluating sites, this activity is used to show UC Berkeley students why it is important to evaluate the source of information on the web. Try the activity yourself .


Step 7. Learn to use Boolean Logic in your searching

"Boolean searching is named after George Boole, a British mathematician (1815-1864), who wrote about logical ways to formulate precise queries using true-false connectors or "operators" between concepts. The true-false nature of Boolean logic, as this system is commonly called, makes it compatible with binary logic used in digital computers. It has become the conventional basis for searching most computerized systems." Quoted from Joe Barker (jbarker@library.berkeley.edu) from "Best Stuff on the Web" - Copyright 2002 The Teaching Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA. See a two-page .pdf document about using the primary operators .

 

 

 

Internet4classrooms is a collaborative effort by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles.
 

  

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