By Chris Robertson
With the billions of web pages on the Internet, how do you drill down to find the pages that are most relevant to your search? Although most people use one of the "Big Three" search engines - and sometimes only the "Big One" - all search engines are not created equal. Depending on the type of information you're seeking, you may have more success searching via an Internet search engine directory or one of the many specialized types of search engines.
Here are a few of the types of specialty search engines that can help you retrieve the specific information you're seeking, without the static of irrelevant pages and links:
Articles: If you're looking for articles to reprint - often free of charge - there are a number of search engines that can serve your needs. These engines can also generate source information from previously published articles.
Audio: There are a number of search engines that specialize in searching for audio files. Whether you're looking for MP3 files, podcasts, or other audio formats, these search engines allow you to specify the type of audio file you're seeking.
Bittorrent: Bittorrent search engines look for results within torrents, which are groups of people sharing the same files and information.
Blogs: Looking for a specific blog, or a blog on a certain topic? Blog search engines narrow their quests to blog entries, so you can find the opinion you're looking for.
Community Search: Community search engines return results from within the local area that you specify.
Images: If a picture is worth a thousand words, an image search engine is worth hundreds of thousands. With an image search engine, you can cut to the chase and retrieve images in a variety of file formats.
Internet Search Engine Directory: Search directories typically pull information from more than a dozen search engines and present results in topic categories. By comparing findings among search engines, an Internet search engine directory typically returns higher quality and more relevant results.
Meta Search Engines: A meta search engine takes relevant results from dozens of general search engines and ranks pages by their standing among the source search engines.
News Search: There are a variety of news search engines, some of which return relevant page listings and others of which use interesting new technologies to graphically represent the importance of each news item.
Reference Search: It's sometimes difficult to sort out truth from fiction on the Web, so reference search engines are handy when you need to cite a reputable source for the information you're seeking.
Shopping Comparison Search: When you know what you want to buy, but want to find the best price available, you can use a shopping comparison search site. Some sites include merchant rankings to help you discern the most reputable dealers.
Technology: If you're a techie, or are in search of technology-related information, tech search engines will only look at material from sites that are exclusively tech-related.
Weather Search: Sometimes you need to do more than look out the window. Weather search engines can pull results, maps, and forecasts from virtually anywhere on the globe.
This article was posted on March 13, 2006