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The Best Search Engines for Specific Things

Best search engines

The internet is vast enough to contain all the information you might wonder about through the course of several lifetimes. With each status update, file upload, or social media engagement, the size and scope of the internet grows a little larger – just like the universe itself.

But do you know how to find exactly what you're looking for? 

Google, Yahoo, and Bing make up a large percentage of the search-bots crawling the internet. But don't forget that there are other, more specific search engines out there too!

If a regular search engine isn't doing the trick, try a search engine meant for specific searches. Movie quotes, academic papers, book texts, internet archives, and even social media statuses are just some libraries that have specific search engines.

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Here's a comprehensive guide to the best search engines for specific things.

1. Google Scholar

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is powered by the largest search engine, but with a more refined angle. Scholar searches through academic texts and white papers to find results based on the keywords or publication details you've entered the system. Students will find Google Scholar especially useful for fast referencing. 

Other specific searches powered by Google includes their reverse image search, and their Patents search engine for registered trademarks and patents.

2. Google Books

Google Books

Google Books is a digital collection of millions. The benefit for users is that book texts are searchable, and you can find (almost) anything based on just a few keywords or what you remember from a quote.

If you'd like to read the full text, Google Books also looks for available purchase links (e.g., Amazon) for the books you are viewing.

Google Books even lets you search obscure, out-of-print, and rare titles

3. Tineye


Tineye is useful for reverse image searching. Are you worried that an image might be duplicated somewhere else online – or are you trying to flush out a catfish or scammer? This is what you might need this specific search tool for.

Upload your image, and Tineye will find possible duplicates and similar images available elsewhere online. It's useful, fast, and one of the most accurate reverse searches you'll see online.

4. Pipl


Looking for a specific person? Pipl is an online search engine for people, often used by professionals who need to gather all the information possible. 

Pipl goes through news archives, public social media accounts, other online mentions, and regular search results to find everything it can based on the user's input. 

It can find everything from news reports to family trees, and it's one of the best tools for it. If you want to know what others are seeing about you online, this is also a good way to find out.

5. The Internet Archive

The Internet Archive

The Internet Archive does exactly what it sounds like. It's one of the largest libraries of the internet itself, and websites are screen-captured by its bots on a regular basis. 

Wondering what a website looked like in the year 2001? 

The internet archive lets you find out.

Oh, and unfortunately, the archive also means that those horrible selfies you thought were deleted off your website are still available somewhere. Now you know!

6. DuckDuckGo


DuckDuckGo is advertised as the search engine that doesn't track its users, and that's why many users make an overall switch. Results are far more standard than Google or Bing and won't rely on your “cookies” from previous searches.

If you want to be sure that your search engine isn't biased towards your search results, DuckDuckGo is one of the current best options for general searching.

7. QuoDB.com


QuoDB is a simple premise, but a website that could keep movie and television fans busy for hours at a time. If you'd like to know where a quote originates from (or who said what in a specific show or movie), look here. 

QuoDB contains one of the largest libraries of movie quotes, searchable by keywords or movie. Have fun with it!

8. Twitter Search 

Twitter Search

Twitter's own search engine has a far more advanced section for searching for things right on the site. Refined search criteria can help users to find specific users or statuses – even if you can't remember all the details. While there are other libraries that search Twitter profiles, the official one is often all you need.

9. ISBN Search

ISBN Search

Need to find a specific book? ISBN Search is an international library of registered ISBN numbers. If a book has been published or allocated an ISBN number, then you'll find it somewhere on here. 

The ISBN contains all the details of the book's publication, including the author and title – and in combination with services like Google Books, it can help students track down even the most obscure editions of the rarest books.

10. BookFinder


Still on the topic of tracking down book texts, BookFinder can help users to find not only information on specific titles, but also information on where these books can be bought or sold. BookFinder is great for book dealers and researchers who might need to find things in a hurry.

11. ShotDeck


Here's another simple search engine that movie and television fans can get lost in. ShotDeck is an online library of movie stills, with the capacity to search for a scene by keyword or movie. 

Whether you need to do serious research or want to bring some memes to the world, ShotDeck is a movie-buff essential.

12. Audio Tag

Audio Tag

There's a word for song fragments that get stuck in your head for too long. They're called earworms. Thanks to the internet, it's easier to find out the origin of song bits that have been playing in the back of your head.

Audio Tag allows users to search through their library of songs by fragment or quote. It's accurate and takes a lot of frustration out of needing to ask, “what the hell is that song?”.

13. PDF Search Engine

PDF Search Engine

Searching for a specific PDF file online? PDF Search Engine is one of the best tools for doing just that – and they'll link you directly to the best results for your search, with an option to view or download the file. What could be easier than this?

What's your favourite specific search engine for finding anything you need online?

This is a guest post contribution from Alex J Coyne.

Editor’s Note:
Alex writes excellent freelancing and cybersecurity guest post articles for us and is looking for paid work in that field. If you are looking for a top freelancing and cybersecurity writer, send us an email at john@freelance-work-guide.com and we will put you in touch with him.

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