search engines below are all excellent choices to start with when searching
has a well-deserved reputation as the top choice for those searching
the web. The crawler-based service provides both comprehensive coverage
of the web along with great relevancy. It's highly recommended as a
first stop in your hunt for whatever you are looking for.
excellent crawler-based search engine, All The Web provides both comprehensive
coverage of the web and outstanding relevancy. If you tried Google and
didn't find it, All The Web should probably be next on your list. Indeed,
it's a first stop search engine, for some. In addition to web page results,
AllTheWeb.com provides the ability to search for news stories, pictures,
video clips, MP3s and FTP files.
in 1994, Yahoo is the web's oldest "directory," a place where human
editors organize web sites into categories. However, in October 2002,
Yahoo made a giant shift to using Google's crawler-based listings for
its main results.
is known for constantly reworking its software products until they get
them right, and MSN Search is a shining example of the company putting
that same effort into an online product. In particular, the company
has its own team of editors that monitors the most popular searches
being performed and then hand-picks sites that are believed to be the
most relevant. After performing a search, "Popular Topics" shown below
the search box on the results page are also suggestions built largely
by editors to guide you into making a more refined search. When appropriate,
search results may also feature links to encyclopedia content from Microsoft
Encarta or news headlines, at the top of the page.
search engines below are other good choices to consider when searching
Search provides users with editorial listings that come Google's crawler-based
index. Indeed, the same search on Google and AOL Search will come up
with very similar matches. So, why would you use AOL Search? Primarily
because you are an AOL user. The "internal" version of AOL Search provides
links to content only available within the AOL online service. In this
way, you can search AOL and the entire web at the same time. The "external"
version lacks these links.
Why wouldn't you use AOL Search? If you like Google, many of Google's
features such as "cached" pages are not offered by AOL Search.
Jeeves initially gained fame in 1998 and 1999 as being the "natural
language" search engine that let you search by asking questions and
responded with what seemed to be the right answer to everything.
provides easy access to the web's four major crawler-based search engines:
AllTheWeb.com/FAST, Google, Inktomi and Teoma, all of which are described
elsewhere on this page.
Nevertheless, it's a fast, easy way to get different web search "opinions"
in one place.
is one of the oldest search engines on the web, launched in 1994. It
ceased crawling the web for its own listings in April 1999 and instead
uses crawler-based results provided by AllTheWeb.
is a crawler-based search engine owned by Ask Jeeves. It has a smaller
index of the web than its rival crawler-competitors Google, AllTheWeb.com,
Inktomi and AltaVista.
companies below are really in the business of providing search results
to other people, rather than hoping you'll visit their own sites to
search. They are listed here primarily to provide further explanation
of how they partner with some of the search engines listed above.
the major search engines, Inktomi is the second-oldest crawler. It briefly
operated as an experimental search engine at UC Berkeley. However, the
creators then formed their own company in 1996 with the same name and
gained their first customer, HotBot, in the middle of that year. The
company then pursued a strategy of "powering" other search engines,
rather than running its own branded service for the public.
is a human-compiled directory of web sites. The company does operate
its own web site, but this really isn't intended for the public to use.
Instead, similar to Inktomi, LookSmart provides its results to other
search engines that need listings.
Open Directory uses volunteer editors to catalog the web. Formerly known
as NewHoo, it was launched in June 1998. It was acquired by AOL Time
Warner-owned Netscape in November 1998, and the company pledged that
anyone would be able to use information from the directory through an
open license arrangement.
called GoTo until late 2001, Overture is an extremely popular paid placement
search engine that provides ads to many of the search engines listed
sites below are "major" in the sense that they either still receive
significant amounts of traffic or they've earned a reputation in the
past that still causes some people to consider them to be important.
For various reasons explained below, they are not among our top search
choices. However, certainly feel free to try them. They could turn out
to be top choices for you.
is the oldest crawler-based search engine on the web. It opened in December
1995 and for several years was the "Google" of its day, in terms of
providing relevant results and having a loyal group of users that loved
by AOL Time Warner, Netscape Search uses Google for its main listings,
just as does AOL's other major search site, AOL Search. So why use Netscape
Search rather than Google? Unlike with AOL Search, there's no compelling
reason to consider it. The main difference between Netscape Search and
Google is that Netscape Search will list some of Netscape's own content
at the top of its results. Netscape also has a completely different
look and feel than Google. If you like either of these reasons, then
try Netscape Search. Otherwise, you're probably better off just searching
Teoma, WiseNut is a crawler-based search engine that attracted attention
when it appeared on the scene in 2001. Like Teoma, WiseNut features
good relevancy. Unlike Teoma, WiseNut has a large database, making it
nearly as comprehensive as Google, AllTheWeb and Inktomi. However, the
WiseNut database has consistently been months out of date. The search
engine is supposed to be regularly updated sometime in 2003, when WiseNut's
owner LookSmart is promising to revamp the engine. LookSmart bought
WiseNut in April 2002. If the revamp happens, then WiseNut may deliver
on its initial promise.
Search Engine Lists
looking for more search engines? Consider these options:
Global Search Engines
Other services that cover the world. They may not be as popular or well-known
as the services above, but they may still be helpful
Places where volunteers are involved in the listing process
To Search Engines
Lists places that themselves list hundreds of search engines worldwide.
Are They Now? Search Engines We've Known & Loved
The Search Engine Report, March 4, 2003
Not a list
of search engines but some additional past history about the major players
above and former major search engines that have faded in glory or disappeared
entirely, over time.