The 5 Most Advanced Search Engines On The Web

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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.

Google

advanced search engines

Why?

  • 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.

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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.

TinEye

advanced search engines

Why?

  • 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.

[NO LONGER WORKS] GazoPa

all advanced search engines

Why?

  • 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.

CompletePlanet

search invisible data

Why?

  • 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.

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

Why?

  • 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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Comments (28)
  • Anonymous

    Great list! Although I’m wondering why you don’t have any realtime search engines listed. If you decide to do another list you should take a look at Buzzdock. I use it with Google and I think is pretty good.

  • Dimitar Nikolov

    Thanks for the neat article, didn’t know about TinEye’s reverse image search. Useful stuff :)

  • Aibek

    We have covered Pipl several times in the past:

    -
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5
    -
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/f
    - http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/c

    Aibek

  • S Ketharaman

    Neither the current article nor the other one listing 10 invisible web search engines includes PIPL, an excellent people search engine. When I recently put pipl to test, I was stunned by the results. Please see http://bit.ly/8XfIiJ for details. To paraphrase Capt. Kirk of Star Trek, pipl boldly went where no other search engine has gone before.

  • s_ketharaman

    Neither the current article nor the other one listing 10 invisible web search engines includes PIPL, an excellent people search engine. When I recently put pipl to test, I was stunned by the results. Please see http://bit.ly/8XfIiJ for details. To paraphrase Capt. Kirk of Star Trek, pipl boldly went where no other search engine has gone before.

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.