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Choosing the Best Seach Engine
Part II

The table below is a mirror from the Nueva School Library "Choose the best search for your information need" webpage. For the latest updates of this page visit their website.

Information need Search strategy
I need a few good hits fast Google returns important, relevant hits quickly with bold terms; pages cached in case the site's down.  Weighs "collective judgement"1 of links in highly ranked pages.
Meta search engines 2
1. Vivismo can phrase or boolean search major engines, then clusters documents into a hierarchy. No paid listings.
2. Ixquick uses refined searching (phrases, boolean, wildcards, capitals) and returns results ranked in the engines' top ten.  About 10% paid listings.
I have a general broad academic subject and need to focus it. Infomine high-quality directory; librarian-selected with flexible search options
Librarians' Index to the Internet - "thinking person's Yahoo"3 frequently updated
Teoma organizes results by grouping into topic folders at the top, as well as listings of relevant authoritative sites and expert or "hub" links.
Northern Light 4 an engine that catagorizes results into folders by concept, document and site type.
Encyclopaedia Britannica has a topic article and selectiveWeb links, as does the more concise Encarta Online Encyclopedia.
I have a general popular or commercial topic and need to focus it. Yahoo a "tree" of unreviewed user submissions, thus has a commercial focus
dmoz "tree" maintained by volunteer editors (AOL owns)
GO  focuses on entertainment, recreation, leisure and lifestyle (Disney owns)
I have general keyword(s) and need help refining my search strategy. HotBot SuperSearch's template helps you create a Boolean or phrase search, or limit by media type, date, domain, etc.
FAST Search Advance Search template casts a fast, wide net.
Surf Wax "Focus" to refines term before you search; "SiteSnap" abstract to review content before you go
Excite suggests word lists to refine your first search term; identify a successful hit to bring up other on-target results.
Altavista suggests phrase search terms on your results page.
I need a better idea of what is available. Start by searching a term in Researchville.  The results page, which looks just like the previous page, pre-configures the search for each link. Click on a link to perform the search, then return to the page to repeat the process.
I bet this search has been done before. Ask Jeeves! database of answers to natural language questions
Direct Hit a "popularity engine" which ranks your hits based on other searchers' behaviors.
I need quality, evaluated pathfinders prepared by a subject expert. About.com popular/commercial subject guides
AlphaSearch points to gateways for a subject, discipline or idea
WWW Virtual Library
search or browse subject-organized full-text documents, databases and gateways
Argus Clearinghouse librarian/academic subject guides
BUBL LINK- organized by Dewey number (European focus)
Scirus is a specialized Science search engine
I need balanced information from verified sources for a school research project to take home Nueva's Library catalog is geared to the school's curriculum
I want to search on often-ignored words in a phrase (e.g. "Vitamin A" or "to be or not to be"). Infoseek and AltaVista includes little words (such as a, to, be, not )in the search
I need a pinpoint search using a unique phrase or word. AltaVista works best for needle-in-the-haystack search for unique word or phrase (Himalayan cat not cat)
I need information on a proper name (a place, person, or object).  AltaVista and Infoseek search with capital letters to force an exact case match on the entire word (e.g. Al Gore and NeXT)
A person search on HotBot SuperSearch will retrieve the name in both reversed and normal order (e.g. Picasso, Pablo and Pablo Picasso)
I need biographical information. Biographical Dictionary - quick identification of a name
Biography.com - paragraph-length biographies
Lives links to biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, letters, narratives and oral histories
I need US government information. First Gov is the portal for the U.S. Government, with links to state and local government.
I need hard-to-find or late-breaking news. 1st Headlines searches current news headlines and can be refined by topic, country, breaking news.
YahooNews updates continuously from newswires
Moreover gathers headlines from 1,800 online news sources
Northern Light Current News updates headlines, weather, and sports continuously; can search two weeks archive
News Index refreshes hourly
I need fuller coverage of news from magazine or newspaper articles. Yahoo Full Coverage gains you expertise through selection and organization by editors
AJR NewsLink links to US/Canada newspapers and magazines
News Directory
links to worldwide English language media
BBC Advanced Search Archive
PBS Online NewsHour
TotalNEWS and Northern Light search current news
UnCover free search of large current multidisciplinary journal index, but full-text delivery is fee-based
I need accurate, objective information on hot topics. Social Issues - Multnomah County Library's Homework Center
BIOTN compiled by Catholic university librarians about controversial current events issues (e.g. gun control, human rights, censorship)
I want perspectives from other countries and regions. Regional and local search engines and country-specific Web directories located around the world. 
I need statistical data.  Statistical Information help page at Nueva
I need almanac-type information. Information Please (almanac facts) CIA World Factbook (country facts)
I need a short reference information. xrefer searches and interlinks encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri, books of quotations and reference works.
I need primary sources. Online Digital Library links
US focus: American Memory, U.S. History, California Heritage
Ancient Greece:
Perseus Project,
I need images and sounds (photos, art, designs, logos, videos, music, noises), media types (Java, VRML) or file extensions (.gif)  Google Image Search over 150 million digital images.
Amazing Picture Machine (NCREL) ClassroomClipart suitable for K-12
American Memory US historical images and sounds; search by formats (maps, motion pictures, photos and prints, sound recordings)
Fine arts: ADAM, FAMSF, SILS
Lycos MultiMedia or AltaVista images, audio, video 
FindSounds locates sound effects and sample sounds
HotBot SuperSearch template for media types and technologies
WebSEEk at Columbia catalogues images and videos
Jacob Richman has compiled an list of quality picture/art sites.
I need free or inexpensive software. SoftCrawler is a metasearch of shareware sites.
I need a map. TIGER Map Service maps for Web pages from U.S.Census
National Geographic Map Machine - printable country, physical and political maps, star charts
MapQuest interactive service for driving directions
Cartography Links
I need a quotation. The Quotations Page Quoteland Quotations Archive, Search Creative Quotations, Bartlett (1901)
I want to get advice and opinions from others.  Opinion-Pages editorials and columnists from newspapers and magazines
Ask Kids' Connect question answering and referral by librarians
AskA+ authoritative, non-commercial experts, suitable for K-12
Pitsco's Ask an Expert volunteers with varying levels of expertise
Liszt  catalogs discussion groups by topics
Google Usenet Advanced Search
searches newsgroups
I need a virtual librarian. KidsConnect, Internet Public Library Reference, Debbie, Marilyn
I want notice of new sites as they're announced. Scout Report Signpost reviews of new sites not yet listed on expert sites
I've got a good search to rerun automatically. Informant repeats your search, sends e-mail when hits change.
Excite's NewsTracker tracks your news topic, refining search based on results
Northern Light Search Alert Service runs your search on large database
I want to see sites just for kids. KidsClick! Yahooligans!
Ithaki metasearches Dmoz Kids, Yahooligans, and others.