Both students and professional writers use the web for research, marketing and more. Our list of 100 different search tools can help you manage your business, become a better biz tech or web writer, find primary sources, look up translations, and find the more authoritative information out there with minimal effort. Bookmark your favorites to take full advantage of everything they have to offer.
Meta Search Engines
Meta search engines are especially useful because they bring maximum results to you efficiently and accurately.
- Draze: Draze compares searches from Google, Yahoo and MSN all at once.
- Dogpile: This multi-search engine features a toolbar, SearchSpy tool and more.
- ChunkIt!: This sophisticated tool finds hidden content and is great for serious researchers.
- Mamma: Let Mamma help your search. You can search for the web, videos, shopping pages, jobs, the Yellow Pages and more.
- WebCrawler: This tool features a toolbar as well as the ability to search Google, Live Search, Yahoo! and Ask all at once.
- Clusty: This meta search engine groups similar results together for easier browsing.
- MsFreckles: Super organized writers can use MsFreckles to streamline their search and pull up all kinds of results, including definitions, text translations and more.
- Trexy: Even absentminded writers can manage their research with Trexxy, a search tool that saves your memory without having to bookmark.
- ixquick: This tool is very popular in Europe and keeps your personal information private.
- Jux2: Find the most relevant information from Google and Yahoo! when you use this tool.
These old and new favorites are worth using for general searches.
- Google: Still one of the most popular tools, Google is fast and easy to use. Newest versions allow you to set up your own personal page, too.
- Alexa: Use the general search tool while comparing site traffic and checking up on your competitors.
- Live Search: MSN’s search has gotten quite a makeover. Live Search is a sleek design that can pull up web results, images, video, maps and more.
- Yahoo!: Yahoo!’s shortcuts and individual channels make it easier to pinpoint what you’re looking for.
- Wikia: For a simple, clean search that depends on community recommendations and input, Wikia is a good choice.
Business majors and writers who work for marketing or public relations firms can use these tools to research new industry trends, stay on top of business news and more.
- Jayde: This business-to-business engine can connect you to what competitors are doing and keep you current on the most up-to-date content, language and discourse in business.
- ThomasNet: ThomasNet is primarily used to search for businesses and products, but writers can use it as a research tool to learn more about brands and business news.
- TechWeb: This engine contains links and resources about business technology media.
- Business.com: Writers can quickly learn about anything pertaining to business using this tool, helping them write with greater authority and understanding.
- Zibb: Zibb is a global business engine that features channels like construction, retail, health care and medicine, agriculture, travel and more.
If your writing requires you to know about web references and trends, use these tools for guidance and information.
- Webopedia: Look up computer and Internet-related definitions here.
- search.internet.com: Search IT, developer and Internet terms and tutorials here.
- Writer’s Web Topic Index and Search Engine: Look up articles, grammar and style guides and more here.
- Marketing Terms: Look up Internet terms and web marketing definitions here.
Medical and Technical Writers
Medical students and technical writers will find definitions, journal articles and more resources with these search engines.
- Acronym finder: Search definitions of different acronyms and abbreviations here.
- Questfinder: Get connected to authoritative websites only when you use Questfinder.
- PubGene: Look up genes, proteins, biology terms and more here.
- Healia: Healia connects you to medical journals, clinical trials and more for primary source materials.
- OmniMedicalSearch: Look up conditions and diseases, medical news, images and more when you use this tool.
- GoPubMd: Sort your searches more easily with this social medical search tool.
- Nextbio: If you write for the life sciences industry, you’ll find lots of research support here.
Give your writing another dimension when you integrate multimedia into your posts or pieces. You’ll also find interactive search engines in this list.
- OAIster: Look up hidden digital content here.
- Picsearch: Search for web images for your blog or marketing campaigns here.
- Download.com: Find and download the web tools that can enhance your writing process here.
- Podscope: This audio/video search engine features a fun design.
- SeeqPod: Find music files here.
- MsDewey: MsDewey waits for you to ask her to find web content while she flirts, plays the air guitar and gets bored.
- Live Radio: Listen to the radio while you work.
- YouTube: Find silly videos and authoritative news stories here.
People and Job Searches
These search engines will help boost your marketability, expose your own writings and even search for jobs.
- InfoSpace: InfoSpace is a white pages search, yellow pages search, web search, tool for finding maps and getting directions, and more.
- The National Diversity Newspaper Job Bank: This search engine is great for writers from diverse backgrounds.
- JournalismJobs.com: Search for jobs by location or medium here.
- Craigslist: Search for jobs, social events and more on Craigslist.
- Wink: Wink is a free people search that lets you run background checks, find phone numbers and more.
- PeekYou: Create a PeekYou profile to give your portfolio, projects and websites more exposure. You can also use the account to search for other people.
- IAF.NET: Run background checks and do reverse phone number searches here.
- The Real Estate Agent Directory: A searchable database which includes anyone involved in the housing market.
- Pandia People: Pandia People is a great resource full of tools and links for conducting people and e-mail address searches.
- SearchBug: This people and company finder can connect you to new gigs and vendors.
- Google Scholar: When you only want authoritative information from scholarly journals, turn to this source.
- Google Books: Find information and full-text for fiction, non-fiction and other works.
- Essay Finder: You can search over 50,000 essays on a number of topics here.
- JournalSeek: Access thousands of journal articles here, including categories like Social Sciences, Sports and Recreation, Earth Sciences, Law, and more.
- JSTOR: This popular library tool is available online if you have an account.
- Questia: Conduct your research on Questia, a site that lets you search library journals and books in categories like education, history, economics and business, art and architecture, and more.
- Yahoo! Journals: Search journals about geology, health, humanities, law, medicine, music, science and more.
Foreign Language, Regional and Multicultural
If you need to report on foreign affairs, if you’re writing for a global audience, or if you want to extend your research beyond traditional American sources, these search engines are for you.
- Search Engine Colossus: Click on a country from Nigeria to Denmark to access search tools for that region.
- Foreignword: This search tool includes a translator.
- elanex: This translation search engine could be useful for writers who translate texts or who are searching for primary sources.
- Web Wombat: This is a large search engine with a mostly Australian and New Zealand focus.
- uk+web+search: This meta search engine searches many UK and European engines at once.
- Cultural Heritage Search Engine: If your work requires you to know a lot about an ancient or preserved culture, use this tool to connect to museums and other sources.
Easily search your own computer for contracts, lost chapters and brainstorming documents with these tools.
- Easyfind: Mac users will like EasyFind’s ability to find invisible files and files inside packages.
- dtSearch: This Windows tool can find embedded links and converts file types.
- Google Desktop: If you’re already a Google addict, this tool can help you stay organized offline.
- Ask Desktop Search: This tool finds your e-mails, photos, files and music.
- Recoll: Linux users can take advantage of this free search tool.
- Yahoo! Desktop Search: This search even finds your instant messages from the archives.
Inspiration and Fun
These nontraditional search engines are more interactive, providing inspiration and fun during your research.
- Mooter: Your results are categorized using a mind map to give your experience a little more variety.
- ChaCha: If researching online drains your creativity and inspiration, use the personality-driven ChaCha for help.
- Searchbots: This fun search engine lets you personalize your search experience.
- Trooker: Browse and search for videos on Trooker to get your creative juices flowing.
- Yahoo! Kids: Even if your prime audience isn’t just for kids, you can catch up on the latest in pop culture here.
- Rollyo: “Roll your own search engine” with Rollyo, a tool that lets you specify categories and websites.
- AskMeNow: Here you’ll find a slightly more personable system for searching.
- Ask Me Help Desk: You can either pose your questions to the experts on this site or become an expert yourself as a personal marketing strategy.
You don’t have to head to the library to do your research. These search engines are either compiled by, recommended by or sponsored by librarians.
- Library of Congress: This massive library resource has lots of search tools and materials for online use.
- Librarians’ Internet Index: Access quality websites when you use this search.
- Digital Librarian: Click on a category or type in your search. Touted as “a librarian’s choice of the best of the Web.”
- PINAKES: This site connects to a lot of different library materials and authoritative sites.
- The WWW Virtual Library: Click on a category like Education, Society, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, or The Arts to start your search.
- hakia: Librarians recommend the sites archived here.
- WorldCat: If you’d rather visit the actual library, use this tool first to make sure what you want is already there.
When you want to reference blogs or find out what people are talking about, use these search engines.
- Google Blogs: Refine your Google search so that your results only include blog posts.
- Icerocket: Icerocket offers a blogs-only search.
- Technorati: Technorati has one of the best blog directories out there.
- AOL Search Blog: AOL will help you find the posts you want.
- Sphere: Sphere aims to connect bloggers and readers, as well as those looking for content from articles, videos and photos.
From Shakespeare to mythology to trend watches, these specialty searches can help you with your special projects.
- Google Trends: This is a great tool for writers who want to know what everyone is blogging and talking about.
- factbites: Access only factual information here.
- Google Product Search: If you’re supposed to review a certain product, look it up here.
- Shakespeare Search: Search Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, most popular lines and more.
- Godchecker: Learn more about mythology with this search engine.
- Complete Planet: Access over 70,000 databases and specialty search engines here.
- Bartleby: Great for checking quotations or getting inspiration.
- All Academic: Here you can access academic journals and publications.
- The CIA World Factbook: This is a great tool for journalists and anyone wanting to check factual information about another country or culture.
- Showbizdata: Entertainment reporters and those writing about the entertainment industry can start their research here.