Updated by Ryan Dube on June 21st, 2017
I love Google, Bing, and Yahoo just as much as the next Internet user. But sometimes you really want to dig deep into a particular subject.
For deep research, you really need access to some underground search engines that may not be quite as well known. These little-known tools dig much more deeply into specialized areas of the Internet than the general search engines are capable of.
In many cases, these search engines are tapped into what is currently termed the “invisible web,” which is the information available on the Internet that standard search engines don’t have access to, because they are buried behind query forms or directory requests.
The following 6 underground search engines that I chose are not porn sites, illegal piracy sites or anything else that could get you in trouble with the law, or with your significant other. Instead, I term the following as “underground search engines” for two reasons.
First: They are so specialized that, although they are extremely useful, these search engines remain hidden from the general Internet population.
Second: They provide a search service to a select community of Internet users who are interested in the specific subject matter that the search engine covers.
So, in this article I’ll be covering six “topical” search engines that I consider that best in that topic area.
1. The Best Torrent Search Engine
If you are a Torrent enthusiast, and you find yourself pouring through the hundreds of search engines that are available online for shared torrent files, then search no longer.
AIO Search is one of the most impressive meta-search engines for Torrent files around. It methodically searches through over 170 torrent sites to get you what you’re looking for.
The available list of Torrent sites that are plugged into this meta-search is impressive, and even more impressive are the search results. Plug in your keyword and each search engine gets a dedicated tab in the results view. Sort through them to grab your file.
Now, I did say that I would stick to underground search engines that are not illegal, and many Torrent searches are done for the purpose of downloading copyrighted software, but the truth is that there are thousands of legitimate and legal Torrent files available.
AIO Search a meta-search champion when it comes to collecting an aggregate of search results. You can also use it to search for images, videos, sub-titles, shared files, and your favorite show on a streaming website.
Here is a search for “indie music,” with over 300 results. The nice thing about the results from Torrent Finder is that you get a view of positive and negative comments, so you can get a hint that a file may not be legitimate before you attempt a download.
AIO Search also has its own complement of browser extensions for quick access from the toolbar.
Other Free Torrent Search Engines You Can Try:
2. A Search for Free Bargains and Deals
Prospector is another fantastic and barely known website to find freebies. In all fairness, the site is more of a directory of content, but with over 3300 categorized and reviewed links to freebies – it’s a body of information that deserves greater recognition.
Prospector is based in the Czech Republic, but the list of free stuff that you can find here knows no borders. We’re talking stuff for the home, free computer software, free educational supplies and tons more.
Other Good Sites for Freebies You Can Try:
At MakeUseOf, you’ll find a lot of excellent resources for how to find awesome deals, such as coverage of these thrifty shopping sites that save you money.
3. Search for House Sales and Sales Foreclosures
Earlier, I wrote an article about the best websites to find foreclosed homes. Public government sources seemed to provide the most information without requiring a paid membership. Here’s a search engine that can help you right away.
Foreclosure Free Search is a search engine that sifts through various sources of foreclosure listings from all across the country (U.S. only). Unlike the paid sites – it offers price, address, and as much information about the property as is available. Foreclosure Free Search is one of the unsung heroes of free foreclosure search engines.
is yet another search engine that provides collected real estate information from various sources, and offers it to you, the homebuyer, completely free of charge. No longer is it only for those who are “rights” to the information. With Trulia, you can see the current asking price, the address (most paid sites will leave that out for free members), square footage, and more.
Most importantly, the site also shows recent sale prices – which is information previously very difficult for buyers to obtain without a realtor. When you’re searching for a house, knowledge is power, and the knowledge that the Trulia real estate sales search engine offers will give you that power.
Other Property Search Engines You Can Try:
4. A Public Records Search Engine
Another very common sought-after search engine that isn’t always very easy to find are those that offer free public records information. Nine times out of ten, if you try to find such a search engine, you’ll end up with results from one of the major commercial companies trying to sell paid public records search results to you.
The Public Record Center is different. While it is more of an underground “portal” than a search engine, it is actually a portal to some of the most obscure, yet useful, public information search engines on the Internet.
Starting at this one site, you can find the government search engines where you can search for court judgments and liens, conduct asset searches, and even look up copyright and trademark information. With so much demand on the web for free access to public records — this is the perfect centralized location where you can access virtually everything.
Other Public Records Portals You Can Try:
5. A Legal Search Engine
Ever hear of a search engine that lets you dig up legal information from the web?
Neither did I, until I discovered Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. This amazing little search engine digs through the institute’s extensive legal library and pulls out any information that you might need. This could include family law, criminal law, labor law and much more.
There are search engines buried throughout this excellent legal resource providing court opinion information, constitutional insights, and much more. If you have any interest in law at all, take some time to check this one out – it’s a diamond in the rough.
Other Legal Search Engines You Can Try:
6. A Paranormal Search Engine
Of course, if we want to go really underground, we’ve got to go paranormal. And there’s really no better underground paranormal search engine out there than UFO Seek. Don’t let the name fool you, this particular niche search engine isn’t just focused on UFOs and aliens.
UFOSeek covers just about anything out there that’s paranormal. This includes anything new age, alternative health, science, the occult, ghosts and just about any stuff that you might consider “fringe”. It’s one of my favorite search engines on the net.
Other Paranormal Search Engines You Can Try:
Now that I’ve gone over a few of my favorite hardly-known, niche search engines, offer some of your own!
What are your favorite underground search engines that you wish more people knew about? Share your insight in the comments section below.