GPC Libraries -- Clarkston Library (JCLRC)
Search Egnine and Directory Snapshot

Search Engine and Directory Snapshot

There are a variety of search engines and directories for finding a particular site or for locating sites by topic. Engines and directories vary in the subjects they cover, the actual sites they index, and the privacy risks they pose. Keep in mind that due to copyright and licensing, not everything that exists is freely accessible on the web. This is particularly true of material published between 1924 and 2000.

When you think of search engines, you probably think, Google. It has a reputation as the biggest, the best, and the easiest. While Google returns large and fairly accurate lists of results, it mixes term paper mills, commercial sites, and others of poor quality with reasonably decent sites.

In addition, Google maintains a record of your search history combined with a history of your use of its other services. The search engine also has shared and may still share large groups' combined search statistics with others.

Google shines when you use one of its specialized products such as,, or It also works well or if you have a particular site or organization in mind. Keep in mind though, you do have other choices.

This site bills itself as a "private search engine." It does not create cookies or record your IP number yet still searches a variety of engines to retrieve comprehensive results. Other engines still retrieve more and better images than IxQuick, but their image search has improved markedly.

This is the Google search engine combined with IxQuick. It shares IxQuick's privacy with Google's power. Its search results are free of advertisements and sponsored links. If you enjoy searching plain, vanilla Google, try Startpage instead.
Yes, that is a Q without the u. This search engine offers a stripped down interface, access to images at the click of a link, and the ability to produce results from multiple search engines simultaneously. It is also privacy enhanced much like Ixquick and Startpage.

Duck Duck Go
Another multi-search, privacy enhanced, engine. Alas, Duck Duck Go does not offer image searching.

Bing is Microsoft's answer to Google. Bing offers robust results often in a different order from those on Google. It also has an incredibly smooth and speedy map search, and an intuitive and attractive interface.


Nexplore is a partially visual search engine that gives good size previews of web sites, and let you share the ones you like with your favorite social media or bookmarking provider. Nexplore's main drawback is a lot of prominent advertising around the box of search results. The search engine is working again but a bit slow as of October 2013.

Gigablast offers an environmentally friendly search engine, a clean interface, no sponsored results, and suggestions for improved searching presented in a light blue box at the top of the results window. Results include suggestions for the Dmoz Directory (See below.). Gigablast also links to the Dmoz Directory. Gigablast's advanced search lets you use Boolean operators (ALL and ANY results), as well as bound PHRASES much as you would in GIL-Find@GPC and GALILEO.

Blekko offers a clean interface with tags (facets) in the left and top margins to help you narrow your search results. Users can control the amount of advertising they see, and the amount of filtering the engine provides. Humans have a hand in editing/screening Blekko's results. Blekko's image search produces compact and wonderfully arranged results.


Semantic search is finally ready for prime time, and semantic search offers something different. Hakia uses an algorithim to search deep inside web sites. That means it can find sites that slip by other search engine. It also misses a few sites other engines pick up. When Startpage/Google, or Altavista fail to do the job, Hakia is worth trying.

Yahoo Search
Before Google was "the search engine," Altavista held that honor. These days Alatavista is Yahoo Search, and in many ways, it still outshines Google. It offers more search options including Boolean logic(AND, OR, and NOT), restriction by field, and a fairly sophisticated image and music search capability. When you do not find something on Google, Yahoo Search is still a good place to look, or make Yahoo your first, search engine choice. provides suggestions for similar, alternative topics as well as the occasional image or still from a video. Ask has an eraser for scrubbing search histories, and lets any one customize its site from a large selection of themes. Its image searching uses an inviting, multicolumn format and often returns results that Google fails to find.

Teoma is a striped down version of Ask, with a spanking clean interface, and results just a little different from Ask.

HONcode Hunt
A gateway to medical sites that allows users to screen out the hucksters and quacks and retrieve only trusted information simply by selecting HONcode sites from the light blue menu above the search box. HON, which stands for Health on the Net, screens medical sites for quality and credibility.

Infomine is a search engine that covers only scholarly web pages. Due to copyright, it has few, if any, full text articles. It does include government and reputable news sources. It also screens out term paper mills, and blatantly commercial sites.


An image search that lets you find objects and images by color. Most items one retrieves in test searches are clothing, and most images are NOT public domain. Still color searching is a novel idea.

Open Directory -- Search Engines -- Specialized -- Images

A list of search engines that look for everything from photos on Flickr to icons and bullets to decorate web pages and PowerPoints. If one of the more general search engines or ColorOf does not deliver what you need, feel free to try one of this assortment.