• Google Alternatives
     While Google is a great resource on the web and is probably the most popular search engine, there are a lot of other search engines that can provide the information you and your students are looking for, often in a safer, more efficient way. It might be useful to become acquainted with some of them and begin to use some of the ones you find to be useful. There are so many that this is not an all-inclusive list. If you fine another one you like let us know so we can add it.
    Here is a way to "test" search engines to determine which best fits your needs:
    The best way to determine which is the best search engine for you is to try each of them using the same search topic. Try three searches using each search tool: try your name (Joe Smith), a broad topic (frogs), and a narrow topic (spotted tree frog). Compare your results with different tools.  Determine which one(s) you like best and then use them. It might not always be Google.
    First, here are some age-appropriate search engines:

    Search Engines for Younger Students

    While we encourage you to make sure that any search engine you use has the SAFE-SEARCH turned on, thee are some engines that specifically return "kid safe" results and some even will provide reading levels.
    Safe Kids Search Engines
    This is a great article with many of the search engines listed below. 
     KidRex is a custom Google search engine for kids. The interface is just like a child’s crayon drawing (the dinosaur stands guard). It uses SafeSearch and tries to keep all the results as antiseptic as possible. Read the Parent information to help you use it more efficiently and safely.
     Quintura for Kids is powered by Yahoo. It gives a more visual way of searching using a keyword cloud. You start off your search with a keyword in the text box and then modify it with any of the keywords in the cloud. Quintura displays five results per page. You may miss it, but clicking on the surrounding icons takes you to the five preset search categories ““ Music, History, Animals, Sports and recreation, and Games.
    Kids Click  
    KidsClick makes it clear in its About page that it is not an internet filter. It is a directory of good resources (a 600+ strong subject list) which kids can use for information or schoolwork. KidsClick is owned and run by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University. As the web resource links to a comprehensive collection of good, clean sites, the KidsClick interface is without any ads.  You can also get reading levels for the various sites it returns.

    Search Engines for Younger Teens

    Here are some search engines that are more appropriate to younger teens. Many of them can also be used by younger children also.
    Library of Congress - Teens
    This is a very highly recommended site by librarians and educators.
    Surfnet Kids  
    This site uses a special Google Search Engine with the Safe Search Filter. It's worth a try.
    Awesome Library  
    This site may look a bit childish or even corny, but it has a lot to offer.
    CyberSleuth Kids
    This site has more than just a search engine. There are games, clip art and a whole lot more.
    This site is a library of over 8,000 websites created by students around the world who have participated in a ThinkQuest Competition 

    Search Engines for High School Students

    Most high school students are becoming quite knowledgeable about the various use of the Internet. Many times, however, they overestimate their knowledge and ability to find appropriate information on the Internet. In recent research  it was estimated that 94% or more of high school students used Google as their primary, or at least their first, Internet searching device. They need to be made aware of other search engines, how they work and how to determine which one is the best for their particular needs. They also need to understand that one search engine might not be best for all situations or subjects.
    All search engines are not alike. Their are several "categories" search engines can fall into. The type they are determines the format and the way they bring back results.
    Here are some other search engines, roughly sorted into types, that are worth trying out. Again, remember that if preferences can be set to safe searching, it should be done.

    One of the Best Overall Search Engines for High School Students

    This is a great search engine. Note the two tabs "Education" and "Web." Try the education tab.
    Here is what they say about the site: 
    iSEEK Education is a targeted search engine for students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers.
    • Safe - Put your mind at ease with safe search technologies and editor-reviewed content
    • Authoritative - Search hundreds of thousands of trusted resources from universities, government, and established noncommercial providers
    • Intelligent - Instantly identify lesson plans, activities, school subjects, grade levels, and more with iView navigation
    • Time-saving - Register to bookmark any URL for storage in MySEEK, your own searchable Web-based library
    There are so many options here, that we suggest that you "play with it for a while."


    Directories are actually collections of human reviewed web sites that have been arranged into topical categories. A good example is Yahoo.
    Best of the Web  
    Another of the most popular "directory" types.
    There is even a directory of specialty search engines. You can select a topic and then use a search engine that should bring back good results.
    Search Engine Guide  
    Just in case you need another one.
    Pandia Powersearch  

    Meta Search Engines

    What is a meta search engine? Meta search engines are search engines that search other search engines. Confused? To put it simply, a meta search engine submits your query to several other search engines and returns a summary of the results. Therefore, the search results you receive are an aggregate result of multiple searches.
    Dogpile is probably one of the more well-known meta searchers. 
    Webcrawler is another popular meta search engine.
     Here is a list of more meta search engines compliments of Infopedia.

    Your Local Library 

    Do you have a library card? If you do, there are many search engines and data bases available to you and they are very useful.
    The Local Library  
    Go to the local library and sign in. You can then use the many online databases available for students of all ages.

     Academic OneFile is the premier source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world's leading journals and reference sources.
    Amazing Animals is for elementary school students and includes facts and photos for over 1,200 animals.
    America the Beautiful is for elementary and middle school students and includes articles on US cities, states and Presidents.
    Business Insights: Essentials combines all of the content formerly found in Business & Company Resource Center with a new interface designed around the research goals and workflows of your diverse business research community. 
    Encyclopedia Americana articles include links to further readings, a bibliography, selected full text articles, web page links, and links to related articles.
    The Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia database indexes over 25,000 records, covering an array of topics.
    GreenFILE offers well-researched information covering all aspects of human impact to the environment.  
    The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia includes encyclopedia articles, news, timelines, quizzes and games, and research starters.
    Health Reference Center provides access to the full text of nursing and allied health journals, plus the wide variety of personal health information sources.
    InfoTrac Newsstand is an innovative Web-based full-text newspaper database which allows users to search articles instantly by title, headline, date, newspaper section or other assigned fields. With InfoTrac Newsstand, you can search a collection of more than 1,000 newspapers.
    Job Coaches provide live online assistance (resume preparation, interview practice, etc.) for jobseekers, and the Adult Learning Center offers an online writing lab, test preparation (including the GED) and the U.S. Citizenship Test.  
    Kids Search is a collection of reference materials with an interface geared toward elementary school users. It contains 68 full-text magazines.
    Lands and Peoples is for middle and high school students and includes articles on countries, cultures and current events. It also includes an atlas and almanacs.
    MasterFILE Elite provides full-text coverage for more than 1,000 periodicals covering general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and much more. This database also contains full text for more than 50 reference books and an Image Collection of over 510,000 photos, maps and flags.
    National Newspaper Index provides quick access to the indexing of America's top five newspapers in one seamless search: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.
    The New Book of Knowledge is for middle grade students and includes literary selections, a timeline, projects and experiments, news, homework help and more.
    The New Book of Popular Science is for middle and high school students and includes articles in the areas of science, technology and medicine.
    New York Newspapers. Search this database of newspapers published in the state of New York, including the Buffalo News, the New York Times and the New York Post.
    NoveList provides access to full text reviews, annotations, publication information, subject headings and more for more than 155,000 works of fiction. In addition, this database can recommend similar titles and authors, provide guides for book discussions and more. This database can search for titles by author, title, series or even by plot descriptions.
    NoveList K-8, a fiction database, is designed with a bright, appealing layout, designed especially for elementary and middle schools. NoveList K-8 contains enhanced subject access for over 60,000 fiction titles aimed at the K-8 population. Full-text reviews from sources like School Library Journal and Booklist are available for many titles.
    La Nueva Enciclopedia Cumbre is a Spanish language encyclopedia written from a Latin American perspective.
    Searchasaurus is a colorful interface to Primary Search. Designed specifically for elementary school libraries, it contains full text for more than 80 popular, elementary school magazines. Full-text is also available for over 100 student pamphlets, an encyclopedia and a dictionary. Full-text articles are assigned a reading level indicator (Lexiles).
    Twaynes Authors Online This online series features the content of more than 600 books that comprise three series - United States Authors, English Authors and World Authors.