AltaVista is consistently one of the largest search engines on the web, in terms of pages indexed. Its comprehensive coverage and wide range of power searching commands makes it a particular favorite among researchers.
Ask Jeeves is a human-powered search service that aims to direct you to the exact page that answers your question. If it fails to find a match within its own database, then it will provide matching web pages from various search engines.
AOL Search allows its members to search across the web and AOL's own content from This version does not list AOL content.
Sites that get clicked on more than others rise higher in Direct Hit's rankings. Thus, the service dubs itself a "popularity engine."
Excite is one of the most popular search services on the web. It offers a medium-sized index and integrates non-web material such as company information and sports scores into its results, when appropriate.
Formerly called All The Web, FAST Search aims to index the entire web. It was the first search engine to break the 200 million web page index milestone.
Go is a portal site produced by Infoseek and Disney. It offers portal features such as personalization and free e-mail, plus the search capabilities of the former Infoseek search service, which has now been folded into Go. Searchers will find that Go consistently provides quality results in response to many general and broad searches, thanks to its ESP search algorithm. It also has an impressive human-compiled directory of web sites.
Unlike other search engines, companies can pay money to be placed higher in the search results, which GoTo feels improves relevancy. Non-paid results come from Inktomi.
Makes heavy use of link popularity as a primary way to rank web sites. Helpful in finding good sites in response to general searches.
HotBot is another favorite among researchers due to size and power searching features. In most cases, HotBot's first page of results comes from the Direct Hit service, and then secondary results come from the Inktomi and Open Directory.
Inktomi was first used to power HotBot, but also powers several other services. All of them tap into the same index, though results may be slightly different. This is because Inktomi provides ways for its partners to use a common index yet distinguish themselves. There is no way to query the Inktomi index directly, as it is only made available through Inktomi's partners with whatever filters and ranking tweaks they may apply.
LookSmart is a human-compiled directory of web sites. In addition to being a stand-alone service, provides directory results to MSN Search, Excite and many other partners.
Shifted to a directory model similar to Yahoo. Its main listings come from the Open Directory project, and then secondary results come from either Direct Hit or Lycos' own spidering of the web.
LookSmart-powered directory of web sites, with secondary results that come from AltaVista. RealNames and Direct Hit data is also made available.
Netscape Search's results come primarily from the Open Directory and Netscape's own "Smart Browsing" database, which does an excellent job of listing "official" web sites. Secondary results come from Google.
Northern Light is another favorite among researchers. Features one of the largest indexes of the web, with the ability to cluster documents by topic. also has a set of "special collection" documents, including newswires, magazines and databases. Searching these documents is free, but charge up to $4 to view them.
Yahoo is the web's most popular search service. It is the largest human-compiled guide to the web. Yahoo also uses Inktomi secondarily.
Unlike search engines, metacrawlers don't crawl the web themselves to build listings. Instead, they allow searches to be sent to several search engines all at once. The results are then blended together onto one page.
It collates pages found from a slew of sites, plus offers the winning MiniCrawler, which performs searches in a discreet window on the desktop.
Customizable, with broken link detection available. Controls Boolean operators for nine search sites
Didn't impress us until we customized it. Then&wow! You select from scores of engines or other sites to search--from Direct Hit and Google to HotBot and AltaVista--and watch as it integrates the results.
Unlike metacrawlers, all-in-one search pages do not send your query to many search engines at the same time. Instead, they generally list a wide-variety of search engines and allow you to search at your choice without directly from the page.
Digs up links using seven engines/sites, deletes duplicates, and even offers keywords to narrow your search.
An excellent and well-organized collection of search sites, ranging from reverse phone number searches to package tracking, as well as covering the major search engines.
Results from each search engine appear on their own page or can be framed within a single page.
Customize search results to match page. Highlights found text in bold where it is found in the document.
Customize results to match site. Has nice Sitemaps and Whats new, but the results only shows beginning of each document.