Search Engines

Where you search is often as important as what you're searching for; different search engines will give you different results.

The Best search engine for your information need

Use this guide from NoodleTools to help you find the best search engine for your information need.

World Wide Web Research Tools

This list of World Wide Web Research Tools from Virtual Salt will also help you determine the right place to look for information.


Clustyis a search engine that groups your search results into clusters by topic. This is a great search engine to use when you need help narrowing your topic, or if the results from other search engines give you a lot of irrelevant results.

Reviewed Sites

Sometimes it's good to let someone else to the hard work of searching. These sites contain lists of websites that have been found and reviewed by professionals.

Librarians' Internet Index

Websites gathered and reviewed for quality content.

Internet Public Library

Quality online resources; arranged by topic.


Searching Tips

  • Use a variety of keywords
    • Search engines don't look for meaning, they look for exact words. "Town" and "village" may mean, essentially, the same thing, but search engines don't know that.
  • Make use of advanced search screens
  • If you're looking for an exact phrase, put it in quotation marks.
  • In order to limit your search to .edu or .gov sites (which tend to be more reliable) add "site:edu" or site:gov" to your search terms
    • Note: you should not put the "site:edu" or site:gov" in quotation marks when you're searching. Do not put a space between the colon and .edu or .gov
  • Limiting your search to the title of the webpage can often bring back more relevant results.
    • In order to search for terms that are only in the title search intitle:term (for one search term) or allintitle:term term term (for multiple search terms).
    • Note: Do not put a space between the colon and the first term
  • Put the most important words first
    • Search engines don't understand "natural language" (i.e. the way people talk)--use a string of keywords, not a sentence or question
    • It doesn't matter whether or not your search makes grammatical sense.