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Search Engines

The following list contains more than 80 search engines, with descriptions, carefully selected by Mr. Modem. Be sure to scroll down to the Specialty Search Engine section where you'll find links to serach engines that will help you search everything from the rather morbid airplane crash database to world festivals and events.

Happy searching!

Mr. M.

Great for attempting to find a needle in a haystack, but has the tendency to produce too many search results without finely tuning your search query.

Ask Jeeves
A model of simplicity: Type in a question and click the "Ask" button.

Access more than 2,500 search engines through the Beaucoup interface.

Dan's Search Thingy
A collection of mini-forms that let you access multiple search sites all from one convenient location. Search Google? No problem. Want to check on a Yahoo Weather? They've got that. What about Yahoo! city maps, people search, USPS Priority Mail Tracking, or All there. A very handy page to have bookmarked.

One of my favorite meta search engines. Fast and easy to use, just the way I like 'em. Type in your search term, click the Fetch button, and results will be presented by search engine.

Concept searching is the main strength of this search engine. When it works, it works beautifully. When it doesn't, it will ruin your life and cause mold to grow within your refrigerator. Concept searching allows you to enter related words such as "snow" and "vacation" and end up with the search engine searching for ski resorts, travel, hypothermia , avalanche, gangrene, etc. You'll be too depressed to travel, so Excite! can save you money, as well!

Fact City
Technically, a "fact-finding" engine, here you can type in a question and get an answer within a fraction of a second. It works with other search engines, but tries to return ansewrs, not just links to pages that might contain the answer.

This search engine calls itself a "Pay-for-Position" service and was one of the first search engines to present search results in this manner. Web sites bid on
keywords, saying how much they'll pay for each searcher who clicks through to their site. High bid brings premier placement on the list. Sites that haven't bid appear further down the list. FindWhat claims that this approach benefits Web searchers because the Pay-for-Position approach showcases sites that intend to reach interested and qualified customers, eliminating the clutter of irrelevant listings. If "irrelevant" means the same thing as "unable to pay the highest price," I guess they're right. You be the judge.

An interesting portal to other search engines, plus additional "look-up" type resources, such as e-mail reverse look-up, search for MP3 downloads, search by a variety of categories, as well.

A model of simplicity and arguably the best search engine on the Web. Enter a keyword and press either the Google Search or I'm Feeling Lucky button. Conducting a Google Search permit you to select 10, 30 or 100 search results; an I'm Feeling Lucky search returns one result, assuming you are, indeed, lucky.

Highway 61
A search engine with a sense of humor. That in and of itself mandates a five-squeal rating from Mr. Modem. After entering your search query, one option invites you to suggest your level of patience while waiting for search results. These are my kind of people! One of the oldest meta-search engines on the Web.

An underrated search engine, very simple to use. Click Advanced Search to narrow search and even screen out "offensive" content or seach for sites that contain images or JavaScript, Shockwave, VRML, or audio enhancements.
Heralded as "the second generation of search engines," here you can voice your opinion about Web sites and your opinions are taken into consideration before the search engine creates a search-results list.

Hot Sheet
Heralded as "the easiest way to the best of the Web," you can use this site as a meta search engine or as a launch pad to any of hundreds of categories listed. Visit for a handy Web-based shopping

How to Choose a Search Engine
Excellent article courtesy of the University of Albany; plus links to hundreds of search engines.

This is one of my favorite people finder tools. In addition to white (individual) and yellow (business) page listings for the USA and many other countries, you can do reverse lookups on Phone Numbers, Street Addresses, Email Addresses, and Area Code.

Internet Search Engine Database
Provides information about engines, as well as articles and news. From the home page you'll see pages for listings of search engines and directories. Underneath that you'll see a list of the most recently-added search engines and directory.

Ho-hum, another search engine for your to add to your arsenal. Ixquick displays and ranks results from a wide variety of major search engines, or, if you wish, focuses on news, MP3 files, or picture/graphic sources.

A meta search engine that yields visual search results. When you click on OK, Kartoo launches your query to a set of search engines, gathers the results, compiles them and represents them in a series of interactive maps through a proprietary algorithm. Instead of reading about it, just try it. It's much easier.

Langenberg Meta Search
Provides access to multiple phone, reference, geographic, business, search, and media databases with integrated search tools. Search multiple search engines at one time; limit the number of search results returned.

Permits you to confine your keyword search to the top five percent of Web sites as determined by Lycos' reviewers. (Now that's a job!)

A Macintosh-specific search engine and a wonderful resource for people who use Macs. Especially handy when you're looking for specific hardware or software. Just type in a word like monitors--no need to type in Apple or Macintosh--and you'll find monitors made for your platform. The site also tracks Apple stock quotes and news and maintains links to other Mac-specific sites and publications.

This search engine is subtitled "The Mother of All Search Engines," and is the largest independently owned meta-search engine on the Internet. Mamma uses its proprietary technology to query multiple search engines at once, formatting the words and syntax for each source. A virtual database is then created to organize the results into a uniform format, eliminate duplicates, and present them to you according to relevance and source.

A search engine for news on the Internet. Search for articles from the archives of hundreds of online news, magazine and journal sources from around the world.

One Seek
Search by topical category, subcategory, or search term

Phaster (Get it? "Faster"?)
An "all-in-one" search portal for MP3 seeking, FTP gathering, and reference information. Whether it's an ailment you need to research via HealthLink, travel information you need at Digital City, or a movie start time you've got to have before firing up the Jiffy-Pop, here you'll find direct connections to search pages.

Powered by Intelliseek, select a primary category, then a subcategory to narrow your search. Requires (free) site registration.

Researchville is a meta serach engine that lets you search multiple engines at once.
Links to specialty search tools and informational resources such as almanacs, dictionaries, encyclopedias, medical and legal information, etc.
Sponsored by C/Net, search multiple specialty channels.

Search 411
Fast, efficient searching. As the site's tag line states, "No pretty pictures; just fast searching." That about says it all.

More than 2.5 million Web sites.

Pronouced "tey-OH-ma," teoma means "expert" in the Gaelic language and it's the name of one of the newest search engines that was purchased by Ask Jeeves. Teoma ranks sites according to subject-specific popularity, in addition to traditional search methods such as traffic, text analysis and click-through rates.

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An Internet resource for searching discussion groups, newsgroups, FTP sites, computer vendors, and Web site design firms.

A wonderful, fee-based service that monitors search engines and notifies you by e-mail when a new instance of your requested search term is found. Very handy for keeping current or becoming so overloaded with information, you'll never leave the house again.

Ultimates, The
A handy site created to help you contact people and businesses. With it, you can search several different reference sources by filling out one online form. The site is great for locating people or businesses because it enables you to search White Pages, Yellow Pages, or e-mail directories through a common interface.

Virtual Search Sites
More than 1,000 search engines on the Web divided into 50 categories, all at one location, plus links to more Virtual Hub sites containing links to hundreds more.

Visual Search Engine
A new type of visual search engine that provides preview screenshots of every Web site returned as a search result.

You can, as with others, search the entire Web or narrow your search to one of several categories. Vivisimo
calls on many major search engines for data, and the search layout and the display can be customized to your liking. But the best feature may be the organization of results into descriptive folders that provides the information you're looking for in a more organized manner than the norm.

One of the original Web search engines featuring a well-organized and selective index with several very useful and user-friendly options.

Feels a lot like Google in its stripped-down, no-frills approach to Web searching and fast search results. The llist of results groups pages from the same site under one result. WiseNut has introduced an organization system called WiseGuide, a sort of index that groups pages into categories and subcategories.

Not technically a search engine, but rather a hierarchical guide to what's worthwhile on the Web. It searches what is contained in its database as opposed to searching the Web at large.

One of Mr. Modem's favorites because ZenSearch doesn't return 100,000 search results. Its focus is quality as opposed to quantity. Sites presented are evaluated based on content, appearance and usability. Those that don't cut the mustard are not included in ZenSearch's searchable database. Sure, it's subjective, but these folks know what they're doing.

Specialty Search Engines

Airplane Fatality Search
Search for airplane fatalities by airline, location or type of aircraft or review a list of all airline fatalities since 1970.

AlterVistas Bizarre Site Search
Has the excitement gone out of your relationship with your favorite search engine? Does Google make you gaggle? Do you find yourself performing meaningless searches with strange engines, seeking to recapture the old thrill? If so, it's time to make a date with AlterVistas, the search engine for bizarre sites. But be forewarned, AlterVistas is fine for a one-night search, or even a wild weekend of unexpected results, but it isn't the search engine you want to bring home to mother. Caution: This search engine is not for the easily offended.

Automobile Recalls Search for factor recalls by auto year, make or model.

Automotive Search Engine
All Things Automotive bills itself as "the best automotive directory on the Web," and, with links to more than 3,000 sites, it may be. You can browse for links by category, including car museums, parts sources, racing, even finance and insurance. And if you're a fan of a particular make of car or motorcycle--perhaps Mustangs or Ducatis--you can find links to plenty of specific resources.

Biblical Resources Search
Okay, answer as quickly as you can: Who begat Methuselah? You're clueless, right? If questions like this torment you at night, try the All-in-One Biblical Resources Search. More than just a Bible search engine, this meta search gateway is a great tool, whether you need to do serious biblical and archaeological research or just want to read someone else's thoughts on your favorite Bible passage.

If you're thinking about chocolate and who isn't? this site will help you locate whatever it is you're thinking about. A keyword search functions like a regular search engine, but there's also a series of drop-down "Find by" menus that permit you to find lip-smackin' resources by Keyword, Category, State, and Newest resources. Categories include Retailers, Gift Baskets, Recipes, and Books. I searched for "bars" (as in "chocolate bars") and received 18 results which included links to a chocolate bar rating system, a U.K. review of 141 different chocolate bars, and Wow-Wee Maui bars, in case you've ever wondered what chocolate, macadamia nuts and banana taste like together. Fortunately, online ordering is conveniently available.

Cross-Reference Search Engine
Cross-references encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauruses (thesaurii?), and books of quotations. Content providers include Bloomsbury, Macmillan, Market House, Oxford University Press, and Penguin. There seems to be a British influence, as you might gather from the results of a search on "lawyer". The reference engine expands your search terms when you submit a query - search on a topic, and you get results from one source with links to related topics at other sources. You can also use an asterisk as a wildcard in your searches. Lovers of crossword puzzles love this search engine.

Database Searches
Search more than 103,000 searchable datbases and specialty search engines.

It's "Google" backward -- and that about says it all.

This is a geographically based search engine for businesses. You can browse through its list of 16 million businesses by name or category. Because you also specify a Zip Code or city, you can make sure the businesses that pop up are within a limited local area or region in the U.S. or Canada.

Family Search
Hosted by the Mormon Church, this site offers access to the largest collection of genealogical data in the world. Launched in May 1999, it is frequently difficult to access this site on the first try due to its popularity, but a message will typically appear advising you of the average wait time before access is permitted. Well worth the wait!

How-To Search Engine: Knowledge Hound
Knowledge Hound is a search engine specializing in finding information about how to do things. You can find information on everything from computer programming to sewing. In fact, through the Knowledge Hound directory, you can even find useful instructions for the best way to sew on a button. You can enter terms directly in the Search box or browse through categories to hunt for how-to information.

Images Search Engine
This unusual search engine is devoted to helping you retrieve images from the Internet. The site is unusual because it uses a "visual mechanism" to help you locate the images. When you enter search terms, the site returns results with a collection of thumbnail images that match your description. You can also browse for images through several popular categories, including current events and holidays.

Info Retrieve
It's tough enough to keep up with everyday news. At Info Retrieve, professionals get help digesting their ever-expanding fields of knowledge. Heralded as the "definitive research portal," the site finds and delivers published materials in a wide range of categories, from the arts to physics. The one-stop journal shopping site is a vast and diverse virtual library, gathering both electronic info sources. The site also offers an alert service with tables of contents of journals the user selects and stores in a profile, and pay-per-view content for in-depth searches.

International Telephone Search Engine
Does international calling leave you baffled? If you only make the occasional call outside of the U.S., you can get a helping hand at the All Nations Telephone Search Engine. Enter the country you're calling from and the country you want to call. This site tells you the exact dialing codes to use, then gives you links to online white- and yellow-page directories for the country you're calling.

Internet Movie Database
Perfect for settling debates about who was in what film, etc. Outstanding reference for anything and everything related to movies.

Life Magazine Cover Search
Search all covers from 1936 to 1972, the years when Life was published as a weekly magazine, with four covers throughout its history featured daily: March 18th for example, offers a 1940s chorus girl and a 1966 Barbra Streisand cover. Search by specific day, month and year or by topic, or browse the 60 "classic" or "wacky" covers, like a 1937 Eisenstaedt photo of a young woman kissing a courthouse colonnade for a feature story on Reno divorces.

Medical Search Engine
This special search engine "crawls" though sites that deal with medical issues and are deemed "high quality" by the service's editors. You can search through the major search engines it carries or restrict it to one. Choices include InfoSeek, PubMed, Medline, HotBot, Alta Vista, and Webcrawler.

Enjoying this article? Then why not subscribe to Mr. Modem's Weekly Newsletter ( today! Computer tips, tricks, virus alerts, hoax information, plus prompt, personal responses to your computer questions!

Movie Review Query Engine
Here you can find any of 150,000 reviews covering 20,000 movies. The simplest search just finds the movies by title. The sophisticated search can work from parts of film titles and use Boolean operators (AND, OR). There are also some lists of movies you can use as a guide, such as the Recent Releases in the U.S., 1999 In Review, Stanley Kubrick, U.S. Video Releases for this month, Top 10 at the U.S. Box Office, AFI's 100 Funniest American Movies, and so on.

Music-Only Search Engine
This musical resource can find stored sounds or radio sites. Its current collected list includes more than 70,000 sites, which are found by examining the first 200 words of Web pages. If those don't mention the music, it won't be listed. You can search through the listings for an artist, genre, recording, or radio station. And you can freely add the StarSeach button feature to your own Web site.

Newspapers and Magazines
The American Journalism Review has developed AJR NewsLink, a site that provides a number of options for searching hundreds of online newspapers and magazines. The search engine lets you either search all the contents on AJR or limit your search to just AJR articles, newspapers, or magazines. You can also search the text of other
newspapers and magazines; or you can browse for newspapers by state, city, or country and magazines by topical area.

One-Across Crossword Puzzle Search
Enter a clue and either the number of letters required or an answer pattern. For unknown letters in the word pattern, you can use a question mark. Not technically a search engine, but this is just too cool to not include.

People Search
This site searches through AOL NetFind, Canada-411, Database America, InfoSpace, Internet Address Finder, MIT, Switchboard, WhoWhere and Yahoo! People Search and other Web-based resources to find that one person you want to locate. The biggest downside is that PeopleSearch opens up new browser windows for every search engine it explores instead of listing all results in one window.

Philbot Math & Science Search Engine
A special search engine designed specifically for math and science geeks. I suppose nerds can look, too, but you are definitely entering a "No Dweeb" zone here. You can look for just about anything you want (related to the appropriate field). The results should be both relevant and up-to-date. But, before those of you who hate math and science tune this one out, let it be known that even mortals can find some interesting stuff through Phibot. The headlines are well worth the price of admission. Which is, by the way, absolutely free.

Porno Search
Relax! Mr. Modem is the original G-rated Web host, so nothing kinky going on here. I'm not going to provide any information about this site except to invite you to give it a try. And then tell your friends. That's what just about everybody does, anyway.

Public Records Databases
This useful site contains more than 15,000 free, searchable databases of public records.

Pun Search
Search for puns by keyword, category, topic, title, author, then inflict as much pun-ishment as you can on your friends.

Radio and Music Only Searches
A music-only search engine that can fine stored sounds or radio sites. Its current collected list includes more than 70,000 sites, which are found by examining the first 200 words of Web pages. If those don't mention music, it won't be mentioned. Search through the listings by artist, genre, recording or radio station.

Salary Search
How much are you worth, and more importantly, how do you actually receive it? Search by job title and location and find the range of salaries you should expect for doing your job.

Search Engine Assistance and Tutorials
An entire site devoted to helping you to navigate the Internet using advanced tools and techniques that experts use. Another section of the site is devoted to helping you select a search engine from thousands of them, depending on the topic you are searching for. Specific topics will be found more efficiently with specific search tools.

Search Engine Showdown
Features of all the major search engines are compared along with their search
techniques. The size of each database is important and you'll find this information as well; however, more meaningful is the performance report provided of the number of dead links in each. A database is not of much value if it's not kept current.

Search Spellcheck
Before you send e-mail or print a report, you always spellcheck it, right? If you've become a little too reliant on the spellchecker, then you might also want to spellcheck your Internet searches, and that's just what SearchSpell does. Enter your search word or phrase here; you'll get it spell-checked, and have the most likely correction entered into search boxes for the major search engines for you.

Telephone 800-Number Search
Find any 800 number by keyword search. Operators are standing by.

Time Magazine Cover Search
Many ways to browse and search this collection of more than 4,000 covers. You can do a simple keyword search, by date, from 1923 to the present), or you can browser by year, by most recent covers, by popular collections, and "This Week in History."

Unbound Bible
A collection of searchable Bibles consisting of 10 English versions, Greek and Hebrew Versions (the original Bible languages), 4 ancient versions, and 42 versions in other languages.

U.S. Government Search Engine
Whatever you need or want from the U.S. Government, you'll find it here. This is the official U.S. Government's Web portal. Accept no substitutes; ask for it by name.

Web Cams
Someday soon, every corner of the world will be broadcast live on the Web. Just go to Web to see how close we already are. This directory lists thousands of live Web Cams. Search by geographic location (Arctic to Antarctic) or subject matter (Health/Medicine to Astronomy). Or simply type what you are looking for into the search

A parody of Yahoo's world famous search engine/directory.

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