The more the internet grows, the harder it is to find what you want. Fortunately, clever developers and dedicated archivists have created valuable resources to help us navigate the web.
It’s a jungle out there. Here are 18 razor-sharp resources to help you cut a path to the information of your choice.
Let’s start with the brightly-colored elephant in the room. Google is the planet’s most-used search engine, with more than 90% of the global market. Its popularity is primarily due to its ease of use, cutting-edge algorithms, and the fact that it does so much more than search. Aside from being an efficient, often-emulated search engine, it has two noteworthy spin-off search tools that can help you: Google Trends and Google Scholar.
Use this search to find out what others are searching for and more. This is particularly useful for content creators or anyone who wants to put their finger on the pulse of their audience.
Search with Google Scholar to find academic articles on your chosen subject. This is an excellent resource for people who like their references to have references.
More Private Alternatives to Google
Despite Google’s global success, many people have an issue with how the company tracks, stores, and uses search data. For those for whom online privacy is an issue, here are four of many search alternatives.
This search engine has a clean and easy design and prides itself on providing quality results and relevant ads without tracking your searches and internet usage.
4. Search Encrypt
With this site, you can prioritize your privacy and security by having your searches encrypted.
This is a family-friendly search engine that aims to be private and safe for kids.
This major search engine emphasizes privacy while providing quick, comprehensive results. Another noteworthy feature is that it makes it easy to search for content by country, providing vastly varying, location-specific results fast.
People Search and Verification
This massive database of US citizens can help you verify people’s details fast. It contains names, addresses, occupations, and more. Easy-to-use, this is an excellent tool for finding out more about people and checking out their authenticity.
Images, Audio, and Video
You can use this site to find copyright-free images, audio, and video to re-use, free of charge. All the content falls under Creative Commons licenses.
This is a straightforward resource to help you find freely-usable images. If you’ve tried to find free, royalty-free images before, you’ll be pleased to learn that this site has no catches. And the standard of imagery is very high. Unsplash invites you to donate to the photographer or leave an attribution, but there is no obligation to do either.
With a similar business model to Unsplash, Pexels features free images on pages that also contain some clearly marked sponsored content. As with Unsplash, donations and attributions are optional and the quality tends to be high.
Ever wanted to know who else has used an image online? Use this reverse image search to find out. Upload your chosen image, and the site will tell you where it appears online and offer similar images that may interest you.
12. The Internet Archive
This is a dedicated and growing archive of old websites and content. Use it to access millions of free videos, books, software, and music files. Open Library is a particularly interesting part of the archive. Its goal is to have a webpage for every book ever published; more than three million of the books listed are free.
Research and Presentations
Got a presentation to prepare? Need to study a subject in a way that’s easy to digest? This site has a massive collection of slideshow presentations to inspire, teach, or re-use. You’ll also find an array of ebooks and PDFs for your research and presentation needs.
Sign up with ResearchGate for free access to more than 135 million pages of quality scientific research.
15. Open Research Library
This is where you go for more than 14,000 peer-reviewed, open-access books. Search across the entire library with this search engine. And curated collections help you hone in on what you need.
16. NCBI – National Center for Biotechnology Information
This is a goto resource for well-researched, evidence-based information on science and health. You can expect these resources to be well-documented. They will help you learn or to make a point of your own.
If you don’t already know, a wiki is a collaborative website that anyone with access can edit. Obtaining access typically involves signing up and logging in. A wiki search allows anyone to search a) all these collaborative websites, b) only Wikipedia, c) people’s wikis, or d) only encyclopedias. It may suggest results from Wikihow, which contains excellent instructional content. If you don’t like what you see, you can always add a wiki.
You can search this social media platform using hashtags to find and follow real-time information. It’s great for emergencies or breaking news. Get information and insights from people on the ground, without polish and spin from media professionals.
The internet is growing at an alarming rate. The billions of devices connected double approximately every two years. That means that we’re already talking in Zettabytes to describe the data on servers worldwide. Having so much information on the internet is great for research. Still, it’s helpful to have ways to get out of the weeds and into the information we want.
While the internet is going wild, these resources should help you get where you want to be. You are also likely to find fertile ground that you didn’t know existed. Stay focused and enjoy these resources to get the most from the internet.