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Internet Search Engines

Internet search engines are the search tools that are used to find information on just about any subject  on the internet.  They are usually sponsored by large computer or internet companies and make there profits from the advertisement banners on their pages.  No single search engine is perfect for every purpose, but some are more versatile than others.  Search engines can be broken into three major groups: Primary Search Engines, Meta Search Engines, and Specialty Search Engines.

Primary search engines such as Excite, AltaVistaNorthern Light, and Yahoo have huge databases on multiple computer servers which can sort through millions of records in seconds to find the information you need.  They usually can be fine tuned more easily than meta search engines.

Meta Search Engines such as Metacrawler, SaavySearch, and Mamma actually are clever tools that conduct your search on several primary search engines simultaneously.  They will usually give you more returns than a single primary search engine, but they sometimes are not as easy to fine-tune as some of the primary search engines.

Specialty Search Engines as their name implies, provide a means to search for various specialized topics such as medicine, finance, science, music, and shopping. 

Searches on most of the search engines must be fine tuned to give you the results that you want.  Some can be directed to look only on certain types of websites or limit the results to certain features such as English language sites only.  The most useful features are those that search by any, all, or phrase.  When you click "any" and enter one or more words, the search engine  will look for websites containing any of the words entered.  You usually get lots of results, but most are not refined enough to give you what you are seeking.  When you click "all" and enter two or more words, the search engine will find websites that contain all of the words entered.  This is the most common search criteria used by many people and the search engines that they use.  When you click "phrase" and enter a group of words, the search engine will search for websites that contain the words in exactly that order.  Using phrase will give you the most accurate results, but it must be used carefully or you will get large amounts of useless results or no results at all. Not all search engines have a click box for phrase, but you can usually get the same results by entering the group of words inside of "quotation marks".  Try several of the search engines listed on this page and you will find one or more that meet your needs.

Primary Search Engines

All The Web  This is the very latest search engine and it claims to contain the Web's largest searchable database.

AltaVista  AltaVista is one of the largest and most popular search engines. includes a Photo Finder and family-friendly filtering to screen out pornographic sites.

Direct Hit  This search engine is different from most others.  It is called a popularity search engine because it give the results that other people click on consistently. 

Excite  Excite has produced many of the advances  that other engines use. 

Go This is a quality site that has a large human screen database and gives consistently good results.

Google  Designed to find the most relevant Web pages (those with the most inbound links) and run searches against them.

HotBot  Part of The Lycos Network, delivers fast, accurate searches that return results by relevance.

Lycos  Lycos is one of the older search engines on the Internet and remains popular with a large group of faithful followers.

MSN Search  This in the Microsoft search engine and is popular due to its default search engine status on the Microsoft Explorer Browser. 

Northern Light  This is one of the favorites of this webmaster when searching for "hard to find information", because it can be fine tuned and has a huge database.

WebCrawler  This search engine is popular, but actually uses Excite technology.

Yahoo  Yahoo is probably the single most used search engine on the internet, it uses about 150 human editors to categorize its information and gives excellent results. 

Meta Search Engines

Mamma The "Mother of All Search Engines will search through Alta Vista, Deja News, Excite, Go, WebCrawler, Lycos, Magellan, Point, Yahoo and Open Text.

Metacrawler This search engine combines some of the most popular engines and gives consistently good results.

SaavySearch  This is the personal favorite Meta Search engine of this webmaster and pulls its results from 12 different search engines.

 The Big Hub This is the newest Meta Search engine on the web and is becoming very popular.

WebInfoSearch  This meta search engine uses over 75 other search engines and will get results when nothing else will.

Specialty Search Engines 

  Because there are so many diverse specialty search engines available we are providing a link to another page for you to access them. Click here to go to specialty search engine page of SearchEngineWatch.

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