Search Engines & Databases
Helping You to Find it on the Web
There are millions and millions of websites on the Internet. Search engines evolved to help you locate the information you want.
Startpage offers you Web search results from Google in complete privacy!
Other Search Engines
- Google (Google Canada).
- HotBot (Lycos).
- WebCrawler combines searches of Google and Yahoo!
- Dogpile — Good Dog. Great Results.™
- Search Wikipedia.
- Yahoo! (Yahoo! Canada).
Google offers Search Features which might help narrow your search.
Other Information Indexes
When looking for information you can use one of the following listings:
but you might find it easier to simply search for the phone number.
You can register your phone numbers with Canada's National Do Not Call List. Excepted callers include:
- Canadian registered charities;
- Political parties, riding associations and candidates; and
- Newspapers of general circulation for the purpose of soliciting subscriptions.
Telemarketing calls from organizations with whom you have an existing business relationship are also exempt. Other exceptions.
These sites have some free information searches and some that you need to pay for. The rise in concerns about privacy are having an effect on what is available for free.
- Bigfoot (Multi-country and multi-language searches).
- Yahoo! People Search (Both telephone and email listings).
- InfoSpace (U.S. name and address records, phone records, marriage records, divorce records, death records, real property records, and DEA registrants).
- Internet Address Finder (Search by name or email address).
- WhoWhere (Both telephone and email listings).
- World Email Directory (Email listings for outside North America).
Miscellaneous Information Sites
- Russ Harvey's Medical Links includes links to professional medical journals on-line, nutrition and alternative health sites, toxic substances information sites and hospital links.
- Decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada (Lexum is now a private company).
- Dictionaries & Encyclopedias.
Times Have Changed
At one time information was published only by authoritative organizations. While one might question the bias of such organizations, it did effectively make trusting the information easier.
Today, anyone can publish information on the web, via blogs and self-publishing has removed the vetting process for printed publications.
This puts the onus on the reader to verify and qualify both the content and the “publisher” of such information.
One of the best ways to do this is to compare various sources to see how they agree and disagree on the main points.
- Widespread agreement doesn't necessarily mean that the information is true.
- Conspiracy theories aside, common educational backgrounds and sources of information can lead different researchers to come to the same conclusions, even if those are incorrect.
- Think things through for yourself using the information you find. Do your conclusions match what you've read?
Accurate Search Results
Many search engines now alter search results based upon past search patterns (i.e. you may not get the results you're looking for). Using a search engine like StartPage can help prevent this because the search is passed onto Google without your IP address and other private information.
Why we fear Google reveals how powerful Google has become and that it now threatens the digital economy:
Google is a prime example of a market-dominating company. With a seventy-percent global market share, Google defines the infrastructure on the Internet. The next largest search engine is Baidu in China with 16.4 per cent — and that's because China is a dictatorship which prohibits free access to Google. Then there are search engines with market shares of up to 6 percent. These are pseudo-competitors. The market belongs to a single company. — Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE
Google established itself as dominant by providing search results that were in the best interest of the person doing the search. The Döpfner article explains how Google now uses its dominance to shape the market. Changes in search algorithms have cost many companies almost their entire digital revenue — changes that are ignored for Googles' own products.
Use Multiple Tools
The “best” search engine depends upon the type of search you are conducting. Various search engines use different criteria to determine search results as well as the order they are displayed.
- Search Engine Ratings and Reviews shows how search engines are performing in various areas.
- The Spider's Apprentice — a helpful guide To Web search engines.
- Search Engine Optimization shows how the various search engines are interlinked (get the PDF version here).
Use Advanced and Simple Search Modes
Simple searches provide you with the quickest result, but advanced searches can provide more accurate results.
- Be aware that both you and the sites listing the information can misspell words, names and titles. Search engines now often ask you if you meant to search for a close but slightly different term (e.g. the correct spelling).
- You can use quotation marks to specify phrases (e.g. “time travel”).
- When you get more general results than you expected, you can narrow the search with advanced options or use a more specific search term (e.g. “labrador retriever” instead of “dog”).
- You can specify images, video, news and other categories for your search results.
- Search results can be narrowed to a specific domain (e.g. Wikipedia.org) or a specific region or country.
Check each search engine for the information on how to refine your search.
Updated: December 23, 2016