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Major Search Engines and Directories

Top Choices


Google has a well-deserved reputation as the top choice for 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. Google also provides the option to find more than Web pages. Using on the top of the search box on the Google home page, you can easily seek out images from across the Web, discussions that are taking place on Usenet newsgroups, locate news information or perform product searching. See Google's help page for information on these features. The Google Toolbar has also won a popular following for the easy access it provides to Google and its features directly from the Internet Explorer browser.


The Web's oldest "directory," Yahoo now uses crawler-based listings for its main results. These came from Google until February 2004. Now, Yahoo uses its own search technology. In addition to excellent search results, you can use tabs above the search box on the Yahoo home page to seek images, Yellow Page listings or use Yahoo's excellent shopping search engine. Or visit the Yahoo Search home page, where even more specialized search options are offered.

Ask Jeeves

Initially, a "natural language" search engine that let you search by asking questions and responding with answers provided by 100 editors who located what seemed to be the best sites to match the most popular queries. It now depends on crawler-based technology to provide results that come from the Teoma search engine that it owns.

Strongly Consider

Powered by Yahoo, you may find AllTheWeb a lighter, more customizable and pleasant "pure search" experience than you get at Yahoo itself. The focus is on Web search, but news, picture, video, MP3 and FTP search are also offered.

AOL Search (internal)

AOL Search provides users with editorial listings that come from Google's crawler-based index. If you like Google, many of Google's features such as "cached" pages are not offered by AOL Search.


HotBot provides easy access to the Web's three major crawler-based search engines: Yahoo, Google and Teoma. It cannot blend the results from all of these crawlers together, but is a fast, easy way to get different Web search "opinions" in one place.


Teoma is a crawler-based search engine owned by Ask Jeeves.

Other Choices





MSN Search

Netscape Search

Open Directory

Recommended by Charlotte Johnson, Director of User Services, Lovejoy Library - January 2005

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