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AlltheWeb (FAST) (
AlltheWeb currently covers approximately 3.1 billion web pages, hundreds of thousands of multimedia, video, and software downloads, and real-time news from thousands of sources. Advanced features encompass the ability to include or exclude words or phrases from the query and to restrict results by date. AlltheWeb will automatically try to improve your results by rewriting your queries. The transformations performed on your behalf include the addition of quotes around common phrases that are detected from the AlltheWeb phrase dictionary.

Alta Vista (
We like to use Alta Vista to find information about a specific term or name (such as a person or hard to find company). Alta Vista often turns up a whole stack of relevant links right at the top of the list. Its sources include government and "public interest" sites. Be sure to place your specific term in quotation marks.

Copernic (
Copernic is a popular meta search software that runs on your computer desktop, either as a standalone application or within your browser. It provides all the benefits of a good meta search engine with the additional features of allowing search result sorting, link verification, saving searches and more. Both free (Basic) and paid (Personal and Professional) versions of the software are offered.

Dogpile (
Dogpile is our favorite metasearch engine - a search engine that runs your search on multiple search engines all in one shot. It's a good tool to use if you come up empty on individual search engines. Dogpile, like many search engines, also offers Usenet (Internet discussion groups) searching. Newscrawler option searches newspapers, and corporate searching is available through its Business Wires setting. Limitation: search techniques that work on one search engine will not necessarily work well on Dogpile, due to variances between the search engines.

Federal Web Locator (
The Federal Web Locator is a service provided by the Center for Information Law and Policy and is intended to be the one stop shopping point for United States federal government information on the World Wide Web. Also includes links to multilateral organizations and non-governmental federally-related sites. ( is a vast archives of published articles that can be searched and retrieved for free. Each of the hundreds of thousands of articles dating back to 1998 from more than 300 magazines and journals can be read in its entirety and printed at no cost. The Business and Finance section contains many industry publications. The News and Society section offers articles from publications with editorial viewpoints from right to left.

Google (
Our favorite, Google excels at being both easy to use and finding what you're looking for quickly.

Google News (
Search and browse 4,000 continuously updated news sources linking directly to the source publication. Retrospective searches are limited by each publication's policy regarding free access, fee access, and maintaining active links to articles. For articles fed directly to your email, create Google News Alerts to monitor developing news stories, or keep current on an event, personality, company or industry (

Google Groups (
Google has acquired and successfully integrated the full archive into the Google Groups service. When you search or browse within Google Groups, you now access Usenet posts dating back to 1995. This archive is the largest such storehouse of postings on the web and contains more than 650 million messages-- over a terabyte of human conversation, much of which has been unavailable for years. Usenet newsgroups are international public discussion forums on a huge range of subjects; archives approximately 45,000 newsgroups going back to March 1995. Particularly useful for tracking down movement information that may not show up on the Web. Searching the SUBJECT field (Power Search) is recommended. Caution: Usenet includes a full range of information, ideas, and opinion. Be sure to check your sources before counting on the reliability of the information.

HotBot (
HotBot has been redesigned for the power searcher, delivering, speed, control, and a unified interface to four of the web's best search engines: HotBot, Google, Lycos & Ask Jeeves. You select which catalog you want to search with radio buttons above the search form. After entering your search terms and seeing results from your selected engine, you can easily view the results from the others just by clicking their respective radio buttons.

The Internet Public Library (
This site, developed and maintained by librarians, is a great starting point and also offers a very nice Ready Reference Collection Produced by the School of Information, University of Michigan.

KnowX (
Search public records on businesses or people. Search fees range from free to $1.50 per database. Charges for documents range from $1 - $7.

Librarians' Index to the Internet (
The Librarians' Index to the Internet is a searchable, annotated subject directory of more than 5,700 Internet resources selected and evaluated by librarians for their usefulness to users of public libraries. It's meant to be used by both librarians and non-librarians as a reliable and efficient guide to described and evaluated Internet resources.

LexisNexis AlaCarte! (
After registering for this service, you may freely search more than 3.8 billion documents from over 20,000 sources of news, public records, and government information, including newspapers, magazines, and transcripts, company and industry reports, deed records, liens, demographics, state and federal legislation as far back as 1968. Advanced search page allows searching for articles about an individual or company, to select a range of dates, or to narrow your search results. Purchasing the document for $3 gives you access for 90 days. Try this service when its time to dig deeper than Google and the services your local library offers.

MSN Search (
Although Microsoft's search engine's index is smaller than Google's, it conveniently offers access to Encarta, the online encyclopedia in addition to links to cached pages, consolidation of results from the same domain, a Google-like Settings page, and automatic suggestion of alternate search terms or spellings. Clicking the "Near Me" button ranks the search results by their distance from the location you specified on the Settings page. Clicking the Desktop link invokes the MSN Desktop Search module of the MSN Desktop Search (or prompts you to install it, if not present). Search Builder allows refining a search without having to memorize special prefixes. To limit the search to a particular domain, for example, you simply click the "Site/Domain" button, enter the domain, and click the "Add to search" button.

Search Engine Watch’s Web Searching Tips (
This section of Search Engine Watch provides tips on using search engines better, including a Search Features Chart; a one page summary of major search commands and operators at various search engines, plus a comparison of special search features.

Topix provides users the ability to quickly and easily find targeted news on the Internet by continually monitoring breaking news from over 3,000 sources creating topically driven, specific news web pages and populating each of those pages with only news about that particular topic. Whether you are interested in finding all the news about your community, a company, industry, or issue, provides an easy way to find the targeted news that is relevant to you.

Vivisimo (
This excellent meta-search engine queries many major search engines, conveniently clusters documents into subcategory folders and provides results in an easy-to-view format that nonetheless provides non-intrusive access to those who want its advanced features. Options include opening results in a new window or “previewing” a page by having it appear embedded within the search results list. Although Vivisimo now carries paid listings, when performing a default web search, it segregates these from the editorial results it gathers from other search engines and clearly labels them.

* Wayback Machine (
Browse through 30 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. The Wayback Machine allows people to access and use archived versions of stored websites; an essential tool for exploring back issues of e-newsletters, and other documents presented on a company organization or personal website. Type in an URL, select a date, and then begin surfing on an archived version of the web.

Yahoo (
Extensive subject index, a good starting point if you are looking for a specific company, government agency, or organization web site. Company information includes a profile, news, stock information, officers, number of employees, contact information, web site. You can search Yahoo if you can't find what you want in subject indexes.

Updated Feb 2005. Please send Web site corrections to


General Planning & Tips
Campaign Strategy
Ten Campaign Research Steps


Researching Corporations
Researching Individuals
Getting Public Records

Creating Surveys
Creando Encuestas (PDF)


Capturing Air Toxics 411
Challenging FTAA, NAFTA & WTO
Juvenile Justice in California


Company Information

Corporate Responsibility
Education & Schools
Elections 2004
Government Information
Money & Politics

Plan Puebla-Panamá (PPP) - English
Plan Puebla-Panamá (PPP) - Español
Prisons & Criminal Justice
Welfare & Economic Rights
Search Engines & Databases


Using Search Engines
Research & Language
Evaluating Documents

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