What do you do when you want to find information online? The majority of people “just Google it”. Typically, Google will come up with the answers that the person was seeking. What if Google didn’t find your ancestors? There are plenty of other search engines to try.
Duck Duck Go
Duck Duck Go is “the search engine that doesn’t track you”. That means Duck Duck Go does not retain its user’s data. It won’t track you and it won’t manipulate the results it gives you based on your previous searches. Duck Duck Go might be a good choice for genealogists who are searching the internet on a public computer (like at a library or university computer lab).
If you use Google on a public computer, there is a chance that some of the search terms you used could pop up in the autocomplete of the next person’s Google search. Duck Duck Go starts “clean” for every user – every time.
Bing is a search engine made by Microsoft. Some people feel that Bing is not as effective a search engine as Google is. Give Bing a try anyway. There is a chance it might come up with links that you didn’t see on the first few pages of a Google search. Bing is what powers Yahoo’s search engine.
There are some things Bing will do that might be better than Google. Bing will allow you to personalize your homepage. It also gives you twice as many autocompletes as Google does. Bing shows you thumbnails of videos that you can hover over to see more. Lifehacker says that Bing is really good at finding information about the course offerings of various universities.
Creative Commons Search
Creative Commons Search (CC Search) is an excellent tool for genealogists who are seeking photos and images to post in their genealogy blogs. Technically, Creative Commons Search is not a search engine. As such, you will still need to check and make sure that the images, music, videos, and other items it shows you are, in fact, released under creative commons.
You can add CC Search to your browser if you find it useful. If you use the Firefox browser, it is possible to switch to or from CC Search in your Firefox search bar.
BASE is a search engine you may not have heard of. It is one of the world’s most voluminous search engines that is especially for academic open access web resources. It provides more than 90 million documents from more than 4,000 sources.
BASE is a good option for genealogists who want their search results to include high-quality, academically relevant results. In other words, it leaves out the spam, the questionable websites, and the sites that simply aren’t credible sources of information.
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