I’ve been searching the Internet for my job since 1995, and a lot of search engines have come and gone in that time. Google is the big dog in the search engine field right now, but there are lots of smaller, more specialized search engines out there. These can be useful if you’re looking for very specific information and you don’t want to be overwhelmed with results. If you want to see what other search engines are out there, go to List of Search Engines – Top 2010 Search Engine List. Here you’ll find a lot of options for Web searching, although here’s one warning: the list was made in 2010, and some of the engines have run out of gas since then. There are plenty of others that are still up and running, though, so have fun exploring this list (and maybe you’ll find a better search engine for your needs than Google!).
There are so many cool sites on the Web, and we all have our favorites. Ever wonder if there are other sites out there that are similar to your favorite ones? SimilarSites.com will help you find them. All you do is type the name of a site in the search box, and SimilarSites.com will give you a list of sites that are similar. You’ll find dozens of sites in just about every category, and it’s a good bet some of them will be new to you. If you want to refine your search more, click on some keywords in the right column. This is a great way to expand your knowledge of the Web, and find some new sites to bookmark!
You can waste a lot of time on the Web, so that’s why it’s nice to have a home page on your Web browser that has links to all the sites you use the most — that way you can be sure you’ll be as efficient as possible. The Hot Sheet Web Directory makes a great starting page, because it has links to dozens of useful sites. It has links to sites in categories like: Government, Health, History, News, Reference, Science, Sports, Shopping, Travel, Technology, Utilities, Weather, and much more.
You just scroll down the page and click on the link you need. It’s a simple, no-frills page with lots of links so you’ll spend your time getting information instead of just looking at at pretty pictures. Check out the Hot Sheet Web Directory, and save time in your Web browsing.
Okay, I didn’t assemble this list myself, but it’s got enough good reference sites on it that you should waste no time bookmarking it. TED Blog | 100 Websites You Should Know and Use. has links to newsfeeds, newspapers, dictionaries, encyclopedias, cool blogs, games, search engines, music apps, maps, ebooks, ecommerce sites, and lots more. Whenever you need to look something up on the Web (and for most of us, that’s all the time), go to the sites on this list and you’ll probably find your answer.
Finding Information on the Internet: Table of Contents. This is a useful site from UC Berkeley that gives some good basic information about how to research using Internet sources. The Internet can be overwhelming, but this site breaks it down into a manageable system. It doesn’t just tell you where to go to find information; it tells you how to find the most targeted information for your purposes. Good links here.
PDF files are everywhere these days, but if you want to convert a PDF file to an image file so you can look at it on your e-reader, for example, here’s a great list of Web sites where you can convert PDF files to JPEG files easily and quickly. And for free!