Can't find what you need on the internet?
It's no wonder! Only about 5-16% of what's on the internet can be found using a search engine like Google!
Everything else is part of "The Invisible Web" or "Deep Web" that search engines haven't indexed.


The surface web contains websites indexed by Google and other search engines.
The invisible or deep web contains websites that you can't find with Google because they are free or paid for databases and directories, sites that use non-conventional formats, sites not linked to other sites, internal websites, fairly new sites, or certain catalogs like online book catalogs.

Try these outstanding directories & educational search engines!
findingdulcineabutton.jpg Webguides

ipl2.jpgThe IPL: Educational Search Engine and Webguides, including one for teens


Infomine: Scholarly Internet Resources

Infotopia Educational Search Engine

Examples of Great Sites on the Invisible Web

Artcyclopedia - Reliable art information searchable by artist, title, or museum - Reliable biographical information
Mednar - Medical website
Pubmed - Search engine for medical studies - Searches 45 databases and 2000 government websites for "authoritative U.S. government science info".
Scitopia - "Search over 3.5 million documents, plus patents and government data."
World Wide Science - National and international scientific databases
Digital Humanities Quarterly - Free humanities journal
Thomas - Library of Congress legislative information search engine
Project Gutenberg - 36,000 free ebooks online that you can download to your computer or ereader!
Shmoop - Free learning guides written by Master's and Ph.D. students that could really help with your homework. You can cite articles with the click of a button! Unfortunately, their test prep materials cost money.

If you DO Google, do you make any of these mistakes???

  • Typing a whole question in the search box?
  • Typing only one or two words in the search box?
  • Only looking at the first few results (skimming the top of the ocean)?
  • Only trying the first words that come into your head instead of trying synonyms?
  • Only trying one search engine like Google?
  • Not trying the Advanced Search feature in the search engine?

Try Veritical or Split Level Searching!
Vertical Search Strategy - (Going straight to the best sources!):
Search a subject specific database like Artcyclopedia or

Split Level Search Strategy - (Finding a great source and then using it!):
Do a general search (i.e. biographies). THEN go to a good site for that topic and search for your specific person like the artist Henri Matisse.

Practice your research skills with Google a Day Trivia: