Best Search Engines

Mary Gormandy White
Search Engine Options

The World Wide Web is full of information, and using the best search engines ensures you are able to find exactly what you are looking for with minimal problems and without extraneous results. Another trick to getting the best results is knowing how to use search engines properly; when using a new online tool, always check out the FAQ, help, and tutorial sections to maximize your searching efficiency and proficiency. After all, even the best search engines will turn up poor results if not used correctly.

1. Google

Focus: General

As the world's most popular search engine, Google has gained much notoriety since its launch in 1998. The simplified interface without banner, image, or pop-up ads loads quickly and efficiently, and the ranked results offer users relevant information immediately. Users can search the web, images, news sources, maps, shopping venues, videos, and more with the same easy-to-use format.

Website: Google

2. Yahoo!

Focus: General

Personalized options give Yahoo! extraordinary appeal to many different users, and the trendy inclusion of horoscopes, weather, instant messenger services, and other online research tools makes this a handy one-stop-shop for online searches.

Website: Yahoo!

3. Ask.com

Focus: General

Formerly Ask Jeeves but rebranded in 2006, this minimalist search engine does not clutter up users' screens with ads or services they may not be interested in. A handy column offers alternative resources such as an encyclopedia, dictionary, and blog search as well as a simplified kids' version to meet specific users' needs.

Website: Ask.com

4. Internet Movie Database

Focus: Movie and Television

With categorized results and cross-referenced entries, searchers looking for celebrity and movie information can find no better search engine than the Internet Movie Database. Box office results, recent releases, and trailers may even help users find what they're looking for before they need to search.

Website: Internet Movie Database

5. Whitepages

Focus: People and Business

For phone numbers and addresses, there is no better search engine than Whitepages. Reverse options for both addresses and telephone numbers allow users to find individuals based on anonymous information, and area and zip code searches are also available to help users connect.

Website: Whitepages

6. Craigslist

Focus: Job and Regional

For local results, Craigslist is the place to search. Detailed categories and subcategories allow users to maximize their efficiency by eliminating irrelevant results, and unique options such as professional categories and personal ads help users find just what they're looking for. The lack of images and tips on avoiding fraud and scams will help users make the most of this detailed search engine.

Website: Craigslist

7. WebMD

Focus: Medical

Indisputably the best search engine for medical advice, WebMD offers A-Z guides on different diseases and conditions as well as updated news, headlines, and a handy symptom checker. Sponsored links are included in results to help users purchase related products whenever possible.

Website: WebMD

8. CitySearch

Focus: Local

To find the top local results, CitySearch allows users to narrow their search criteria based on zip code or other local qualifiers. Dining and entertainment guides as well as suggested hot spots will help eager searchers find just what they're looking for right in their own home town.

Website: CitySearch

9. Zillow

Focus: Real Estate

Both homebuyers and sellers will benefit from Zillow's detailed property searches. Results not only give housing information, but provide value charts, aerial photos, maps, and other information to help even novice users decipher today's hot housing market. Homeowners can even add their input to correct inaccurate data.

Website: Zillow

Best Search Engines