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Lowther Hall Nora Collisson Centre (Library): Search Engines

Search Engines

Search engines allow you to search the internet.  There are many different search engines.

Google is the number one search engine in the world but to access information effectively you really need to know about some others and how to use them.

Take a couple of minutes to check out a few search engines provided here along with those tips and tricks you will need.  

                Carrot 2



Known as a clustering engine, Carrot 2 is a good place to start when trying to refine your area of research because it organises your search results into topics. Begin your search with a general entry then click on treemap. Great for students undertaking their Willara Project.



SweetSearch  "searches only the 35,000 Web sites that our staff of research experts and librarians and teachers have evaluated and approved. We constantly evaluate our search results and "fine-tune" them, by increasing the ranking of Web sites from organizations such as the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, PBS and university Web sites.

Sweet Search helps students find outstanding information, faster. It enables them to determine the most relevant results from a list of credible resources, and makes it much easier for them to find primary sources. We exclude not only obvious spam sites, but also marginal sites that read well, but lack academic or journalistic rigour. As importantly, the very best Web sites that are often buried on other search engines appear on the first page of SweetSearch results."

Source: About SweetSearch


TinEye is a reverse image search engine. 

If you find an image on the internet you want to use, you can:

  • drag and drop your images to start your search to find the source. This is important for your reference list or bibliography.
  • reverse image source - you have the url and want to find the image



                     Google Scholar

Google Scholar is for Senior Science Students.  It has peer-reviewed up-to-date research articles. 

It includes access to articles from Elsevier, The Lancet, Science and Nature.

"Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research."

Source: About Google Scholar



Infotopia is an academic search engine accessing only trusted websites selected by librarians and teachers.

CC Search

CC Search is run by Creative Commons which licences providers' works.

CC Search should be your first stop on the hunt for nearly any type of copyright-free content.

This search engine is perfect if you need music for a video, an image for a blog post, or anything else without worrying about an angry artist coming after you for ripping off their work.



DuckDuckGo does not collect or store any of your private information.

It is perfect for those who wish to keep their personal information private. 




Dogpile is a "feel good" search engine that donates a portion of its revenue to animals in need each time you perform a search. The results are often not found easily on other search engines.






Ecosia is another feel good search engine. It donates a portion of its revenue to planting trees each time you search.



GiveWater is perfect for those who have a social conscience.

Every time you use this search engine paid search ads generate income for GiveWater. The profits are then distributed to charitable partners. 

If you wish to find out about other socially minded search engines go to: 7 Alternative Search Engines


What the world is searching on Google right now

This graphic shows what people around the world are searching for at the moment.