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Something for all librarians (and other library staff who work at public service desks) to definitely check out: The Top 100 Alternative Search Engines (as a PDF or a XLS) from AltSearchEngines.com.  Read the Top 10 FAQ on the alt engines too.  Every good librarian should be aware of alternative search engines, their strengths, and how to find the right one for the right job.  In the age of digital media and still-hidden data inside databases of immense proportions, these alternative engines can be invaluable in finding information for our customers. 

It would be great for libraries to have a brief brown-bag with staff about alternative engines – a kind of "bring your favorite alt engine" show and tell.  I can guarantee that much would be learned by all.

“Top 100 Alternative Search Engines”

  1. gary price Says:

    Great post Sarah.

    In my view this “invisible” or deep web is larger now vs. the way it was when Chris Sherman and I wrote our book seven years ago.

    Yes, general web engines do index more things but there still is a massive amount that is not indexed.

    Plus, and this is key, even if it is indexed by a general engine, if it does not show up in the first few results it as might as well be invisible. In other words, searcher behavior and skills haven’t changed all of that much.

    This is yet another reason why specialty database/engines can be so helpful and why info pros can play a huge role in making better searchers and informing the public about specialty tools.

    I would also like to invite readers to visit ResourceShelf ( a site that you mention often…THANKS) where we are often posting about new and newly discovered search resources.
    http://www.resourceshelf.com

  2. Sarah Houghton-Jan (LiB) Says:

    Thanks for that Gary. The invisible web does extend beyond what any engine can find, absolutely. I strongly encourage my readers to subscribe to ResourceShelf. I find SO much of use on your site consistently, especially in terms of online reference sources and tactics. I can’t tell you how many times I bookmark resources I find there…

  3. Swiss Army Librarian » On Google+ and the Role of Social Networks :: Brian Herzog Says:

    [...] important thing to remember is not to rely on one tool for everything – closed-loop social networks are good for keeping in touch with [...]

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