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advanced search enginesSearch engines are internet encyclopedias that allow us to find and filter out relevant information. With any given search engine, it takes some skill to find exactly what you are looking for. You must understand how the search engine works and how your search queries are interpreted.

More advanced search engines will meet you halfway, by providing forms for advanced searches, better interpreting your queries, suggesting keywords, or finding unusual context.

In this article I introduce five search engines with such advanced features.

General Search

Whenever you are looking for written information, the general search engines will do the trick. The advanced search gives access to additional features that easily let you refine your search query.


advanced search engines



  • keeps setting new standards.
  • comprehensive, yet easy to use interface.
  • excellent search term suggestions.

Further reading:

Alternative: Yahoo! because it uses a different search engine algorithm and may give less biased results, as discussed in a previous article 6 Ways To Reduce Irrelevant Results On Google Search 6 Ways To Reduce Irrelevant Results On Google Search Read More .

Reverse Image Search

While most general search engines can search for images based on file names or tags, more advanced search engines can read the image and make its content searchable.


advanced search engines


  • creates an image fingerprint.
  • does reverse image search based on the fingerprint.
  • reveals where and how images are used.

Alternative: RevIMG, which offers more features, for example selecting an area of the image to be searched. Unfortunately, the database is limited.

Similar Image Search

Similar image search doesn’t recognize exact copies of a given image, but similar features, such as color, texture, or structures within the image.


all advanced search engines


  • extracts general image characteristics, such as color and shape.
  • searches similar images based on their general characteristics.
  • works with uploaded images and image URLs.

Alternative: Google Similar Images, although it only works with images that have already been indexed.

Further reading:

Invisible Search

Information that is stored in databases is largely invisible to standard search engines because they merely index the contents of websites, following one link after the next. Invisible search engines specialize in hidden data in the so-called Deep Web.


search invisible data


  • access dynamic databases.
  • search within data range.
  • well-documented help section.

Alternative: Saikat documented 9 more search engines in his article 10 Search Engines to Explore the Invisible Web 10 Search Engines to Explore the Invisible Web 10 Search Engines to Explore the Invisible Web Read More .

Semantic Search

Semantic search is concerned with the exact meaning of a search term, its definition and the search context. Search engines based on semantic search algorithms are thus better at eliminating irrelevant results.

all advanced search engines


  • choose intended meaning for ambiguous terms.
  • save a myriad of personal settings.
  • search other search engines from DuckDuckGo using its !bang feature.

Further reading:

Alternative: hakia because it offers a more compact interface and it lists search results by category.

Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are countless specialty search engines out there. We have profiled many more of them on MakeUseOf:

What advanced search engine do you recommend?

Image credits: Danard Vincente

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