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!).
I’m an ebook author and a big supporter of the digital revolution. Of course you’d expect someone with this many books available to say that! However, I’m also a lover of old-fashioned print books, and I have shelves and shelves of them in my home. That’s why I like this site — 100 Places to Connect With Other Bibliophiles Online | OEDb.– because it has 100 sites where book lovers can connect, to buy, sell, and trade books, discuss them, and make recommendations to other book lovers. You’ll find lots of great sites here, and it’s a great way to use the Internet to connect with other lovers of print books — kind of a merging of the new and the old!
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!
Okay, I know I just posted a link about Hurricane Sandy, but since I’m stuck at home and weather is the main thing on my mind today, here’s another link. UM-Weather: Home has been around since 1994, which is forever in Internet years, and it has a massive list of links to the best weather info on the Net. There are 150 links to North American weather sites, lots of radar and satellite sites, city-by-city forecasts, ski weather sites, weather cams, weather maps, and lots more. The University of Michigan is a premier educational institution, so you can trust the sites they link to. If you don’t bookmark any other weather site, you should bookmark this one.
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.
Here’s a site with some statistical information you’ll be interested in. Type in a keyword and Statista pulls statistics from many databases to answer your query. I typed in “immigrants” and got 125 separate links to statistical studies and reports on immigration. This site is great for students, teachers, market researchers, businesspeople, writers, and anyone who wants fast access to statistical data. If you don’t have a specific topic in mind, browse the “Recommended Statistics” list in the lower right column. Here you’ll find links to studies like, “Worldwide Apple iPhone sales since 3rd quarter 2007”, “Attendance at Broadway shows”, “Average ticket price in the NFL”, “Unique visitors to Facebook.com”, and much more. Statista is a fun way to research the numbers behind any topic.
Almost fifteen years ago, which is an eternity in Internet years, I started a newsletter called Really Useful Sites, in which I profiled Web sites that had free or low-cost information. I found hundreds of sites in those early years, put up by universities, foundations, organizations, and just plain, everyday folks who had found a way to offer something useful on their Websites. As time went on it became harder to find useful information that didn’t have a price tag attached to it. Big corporations got involved, and every site had a subscription fee slapped on before they’d let you access their information. I eventually stopped publishing the newsletter, but I still surf the Web looking for those diamonds in the rough, those sites where you can still find free or low-cost information. One such site is MillionShort, which is a search engine that eliminates the first ten thousand (or more) sites from every search. Why would you want to eliminate the top search results? Because most of them are trying to sell you something. When you get rid of the top ten thousand, or hundred thousand, or million sites, you get sites that are like the ones I used to find all those years ago. They are generally sites that are put up out of the sheer joy of sharing information, and they don’t charge a fee. Try it — you’ll be surprised at what you find.