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Directories and Search Engines

Want to find something, someplace or someone
on the net? Here's a great place to start: the major
search engines, people finders, place finders
(with maps and stuff), labor lists, and the U.S.
government are all here!

Whenever possible, we've listed websites by using
their own descriptions (indicated by the use of opening
and closing quotes). Links verified: 10/24/2003.

Search the Net

Web Search! Search the Net with 13 top search engines, metasearchers and directories — from the UE Website! Whattayasay?! Give it a try! ...
Begun in 1997as "The Mining Company," this site has evolved to become one of the most comprehensive directories on the internet. "Each site in our unique network is run by ... professional Guide(s) who ... build a comprehensive environment around each of their specific topics, including the best new content, relevant links, how-to's, forums, and answers to just about any question. ... ." Returns results from the About directory, the web in general, and About's partner sites. Strengths: original content (more than 50,000 subjects; over 1 million links); weakness: not a good place to do complex por in-depth searches.

One of the best general-search engines ... with one of the largest databases. If you need to do powerful and flexible searches, AltaVista is a good choice as long as the information you're looking for is not easily dated. AltaVista's database contains a surprising number of dated and "dead" links. Offers: "Web pages, shopping, up-to-the-minute news, live audio and video, community resources, AltaVista, and AltaVista E-mail". Try it from the UE Website ...

AOL Search (AOL Anywhere)
From America On-Line, a search engine that uses the Open Directory Project as its backbone (see below) as well as results from its partner sites.There are also search sites for AOL White Pages, AOL Yellow Pages, E-Mail Finder, Kids Only, Maps & Directions, and Newsgroup and personal page searches. Not the best place for anything more than casual searches.

Ask Jeeves
A relatively good effort at allowing users to pose "natural language questions" (i.e. "How do we organize a union?" ... . Sometimes Jeeves is way off target, but often (especially with business and shopping questions) you'll get a healthy selection of relevant results to pursue. Try it from the UE Website ...

Adequate search engine and directory and a popular "portal" site. Smaller database than most of the other engines listed here; best at "focused queries"; less stellar with broad questions. As a portal, Excite can be personalized with your selection of news, stock quoters and features. Try it from the UE Website ...

FAST Search
Like Google and AltaVista's Raging Search (listed elsewhere on this page), FAST Search does only one thing: seach. Search for documents, the mobile web, FTP sites, MP3 content and for multimedia. It's relatively new and may not perform quite as well as Google ... but it's been designed with growth in mind. FAST wants to be able to catalog 10 billion (and more) pages as the web expands ... and claims its design is ready to meet the challenge. Try it from the UE Website ...

Essentially a directory. Downside: sites seeking to be listed must pay between $49 and $99 to 'be guaranteed a review', making results somewhat suspect in our minds. Here's what they say: "Galaxy is the original searchable Internet directory. Our mission is to provide contextually relevant information by integrating state-of-the-art technology with the human touch ... Our information is compiled and organized by human Internet Librarians rather than by computer."

The best general search engine? Generally, yes! Google began as a Stanford University research project to find the most relevant web pages on the internet, and has evolved to become one of the most popular (and accurate) search engines on the internet. There's even an "I feel lucky" option to skip the results of a search and go right to the top return. A nice feature allows users to view "cached" pages — how the pages looked when they were indexed by Google. Also allows you to enter a first and last name and state to return a phone number.Try it from the UE Website ...

A high-powered, fast and generally accurate search engine (part of the Terra Lycos network) that allows for highly refined searches. Often will provide the "top ten" most popular links for a particular search term or phrase. Lots of special search features (specified date range; multiple languages and second search against your results)" and you can target specific types of content (MP3 files, for example) on the advanced search page. Try it from the UE Website ...

Your chance to win cash while searching the 'net. Requires registration ... but it's at least an average search engine, so ... why not?

Billing itself as "the quality web directory", LookSmart will return results only from its own directory (and its paid sponsors first!). Looksmart says it "is committed to organizing the Web. LookSmart directories are used by 83 percent, or more than 4 out of 5 US Internet users." Not bad a bad site to conduct travel-related searches ... or for exploring topics that are listed in the LookSmart directory.

Originally begun at Pittsburgh's Carnegie-Mellon University, the Lycos Network is now owned by "Terra Lycos," based in Barcelona, Spain (operations are based in Waltham, MA). Terra Lycos offers more than 19 web services (including HotBot and WhoWhere?) and claims to have the "largest global footprint of any internet portal." Lycos returns a good set of results, listing "four most popular" sites first and links to related searches. Generally average performance. Try it from the UE Website ...

MSN (The Microsoft Network)
Both a web directory and a search engine, MSN has become one of the most popular internet search engines and portal page. This is also the home of Hotmail ... and of course, the MSN internet service. Microsoft's big bucks have made this site work. Very good at simple searches; about average for complex queries.

NBCi (NBC Internet)
Abitious plans to turn this site into major competition for Yahoo! and MSN fell apart as General Electric's NBC television unit has announced it would buy what it already didn't own of NBCi and scale it back. NBCi's exact future is not known, but it is expected to continue promoting NBC-TV, CNBC and MSNBC ... and retain its search function.

Northern Light
NOTE: Currently closed to the public. A different type of search engine, Northern Light offers substantive web searches augmented by access to it's "Special Collections" -- news stories and book reviews from some 7,100 journals, reviews, books, magazines and news wires not found elsewhere on the Web. It's the best site to do a "topic" search (as opposed to looking for a specific company or organization web site). It's search results are placed into topical "folders" to help you sort through the returns.

Open Directory Project
"As the web grows, automated search engines and directories with small editorial staffs will be unable to cope with the volume of sites. The Open Directory Project's goal is to produce the most comprehensive directory of the web, by relying on a vast army of volunteer editors." What to be an editor? You can! Interesting idea.

Overture (formerly
Overture (formerly GoTo) was the the first search engine where advertisers could pay for better rankings — the links presented as the result of your search may be shown in part because a web-site owner paid for being listed at the top. Overture insisits this helps improve relevance. You be the judge! (Note: Overture results do not rely solely on paid listings, but search results here are basically average in quality.)

Teoma (formerly Direct Hit)
Direct Hit is now known as "Teoma", using the sales mark (sm) "Search with Authority." Like its predicessor, Teoma attempts to find the most relevant results for your searches by taking into account "the activity of millions of previous Internet searchers" ... ranking those sites most often chosen for a particular search term at the top of its results. A number of search engines use Teoma's data in their own search results. Often quite accurate ... but only for the most popular queries. Owned by ("Ask Jeeves").

Once independent, WebCrawler is now part of Excite. Features portal page ("my page") setup, and more. Try it from the UE Website ...

The graddaddy of them all ... Yahoo remains the leading internet directory and most popular portal site. Probably the most extensive listing of sites available anywhere (there's even a good listing of unions); general web searches are also available. Structure can be confusing, but it's very complete. On the downside: Yahoo! now charges a fee for a guaranteed staff review to add a new listing; complex searches should be taken elsewhere. Try it from the UE Website ...

Alphabetical List of UE Links
| Communities | Daily Life | Directories and Search Engines |
| Environment | Government | Health & Safety | International |
| Labor Resources | Legal | Organizations | Political Action | Research |

Metasearch the Net

Ixquick Metasearch
Calling itself "the world's most powerful metasearch engine," Ixquick offers stellar results, searching several engines simultaneously, ranking the results by popularity and eliminating duplicate results. Power search functions as well, giving you an uncommonly high level of control over your search queries. Try it from the UE Website ...
" - The Mother of All Search Engines - is recognized as one of the top Meta Search Engines ... experiencing explosive growth since its inception in 1996 ... is the largest independently owned Meta Search Engine on the Internet. ... is a 'Smart Meta Search Engine.' When the user enters a query at the website, Mamma's powerful proprietary technology simultaneously queries 10 of the major Search Engines ...". Visit your Momma?

Now part of "InfoSpace" (formerly part of the "Go2Net" Network), this is a "metasearch" engine — it queries up to 13 search engines, combines the results, and presents them ranked by confidence-level (by default) .Try the "Power Search" page for an impressive set of search customization options. Try it from the UE Website ...

Fast and comprehensive metasearch engine. You can ask Metor to search ten top search engines; eight directories and five sites that provide website reviews. Redundant listings are eliminated; There are also 19 specialized search categories including Business, News, Health, Music, etc ... .

Query Server
"The Query Server is an advanced meta search tool that broadcasts a single query (to a number of search) engines. One query returns a single merged, ranked and conceptually clustered list ... We have set up several focused search pages, each concentrating on a particular type of search ... Web search (10 engines); News search (10 TV and newspaper sites); Health search (12 health and medical info sites); Money search (8 financial sites); Government search (13 US federal government sites)." (CNET)
Formerly SavvySearch, this is a metaserach engine is designed to query multiple internet search engines simultaneously. One of the best all-in-one type sites. Now promises to construct results from some 800 engines in its "specialized search" categories.

This one is truly different (you'll either love it ... or hate it!). Search 12 engines; get up to 400 listings back, alphabetically organized, in the left column. Click the green arrow to get an instant "Site Snap" (a surprisingly comprehensive overview) of the site you've selected in the right column.

If you're familiar with Northern Light, then you'll recognize this approach: Vivisimo querys 8 search engines and directories and groups like listings into folders on the left hand side of the page (unlike Northern Light, category folders are grouped "on the fly" based on the results of each search - not predetermined).

Alphabetical List of UE Links
| Communities | Daily Life | Directories and Search Engines |
| Environment | Government | Health & Safety | International |
| Labor Resources | Legal | Organizations | Political Action | Research |

Specialized Searches

direct search
"direct search is a growing compilation of links to ... data not easily or entirely searchable/accessible from general search (engines). Searchers often fail to realize that a massive amount of information (is hidden in databases and other locations not found by the general search engines.)" Be sure to check this entire page; links to much of the information available are found below the search box.

Karnak Library
You'll need to register to use this metasearch tool -- but it's unlike any other that we've come across. "Karnak helps you structure your research (query) then scours the Web, digging deeper than mundane search engines. The best information is added to your personal library, which you can access from any Internet-capable computer. It even checks for dead and stale links before providing your results. Karnak regularly updates you on the status of your research by email." For in-depth and on-going research, this may be the tool to try!

Search Engine Watch
Looking for more focused and/or specialized search engines? Information that's hard to find (or even invisible to most search engines?) Here's a good place to start looking. Search Engine Watch provides a listing of specialized search engines in several categories.
One of several specialized search sites from, a search engine technology company. A jump box lets you search "over 20 million university and education pages" ... as well as online books, government sites, military sites, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesarus, the Encarta and Britannica Encyclopedias, Info Please Encyclopedia and Almanacs and A&E Biographies.

Covering more than 19 categories, this site allows you to search a number of databases and "hidden" information on the web. A little confusing at first, but a good resource for specialized searches. This link was not responding on 10/24/2003

Alphabetical List of UE Links
| Communities | Daily Life | Directories and Search Engines |
| Environment | Government | Health & Safety | International |
| Labor Resources | Legal | Organizations | Political Action | Research |

Find People
[Note: This service now requires paid registration]. When this service was free, we found it to be one of the best-organized sites of its kind; came in second on our test name.

From AT&T. Ranked fifth on our test name (average response). Includes reverse telephone number lookup (although it returned an incorrect response on our private test number), as well as email, toll-free number and yellow page lookups. Driving directions and maps provided ny MapQuest.

Infospace White Pages
Data by Acxiom. Ranked fourth in finding our test name; includes reverse number lookup as well as search near and business lookups (accessed from the InfoSpace main page. Name lookups for U.S., Canada and some European countries. Maps and driving directions from MapQuest. Note: Acxiom also provides data for a number of other "People Finders" including: WordPages,, Verizon's and Lycos/WhoWhere, among others. - Directory Assistance
Formerly DataBase America - Find addresses, phone numbers - and reverse phone lookup. One of the most thorough we found (best results on our test name); links to driving directions provided by MapQuest. To go right to name lookup, click here. InfoUSA also provides the data for Switchboard (see below),

Lycos/WhoWhere? International Phone Directory
Links to phone directories from more than 65 countries.

SuperPages - Global Directories
Links to phone directories on all continents.

From CBS. Although powered by infoUSA (see above), there were fewer returns on our test name (coming in third). We've included this as a seperate listing because maps are provided by "Maps on Us", an alternative to the more commnly found MapQuest. Reverse lookup is provided.

Yahoo! People Search
Last place (sixth) in returning results on our test name. Maps provided by MapQuest. Email search function; no reverse lookup.

Alphabetical List of UE Links
| Communities | Daily Life | Directories and Search Engines |
| Environment | Government | Health & Safety | International |
| Labor Resources | Legal | Organizations | Political Action | Research |

Find Places (maps, zip codes, travel)

Calculate Distances
Find the distance between two locations; includes maps and driving directions.

Look up a Zip Code
Zip-plus-four from the Postal Service (and more).

Look up an Area Code
Find area codes, country codes and city codes for anyplace in the world

Anyplace, anywhere, with all the detail you could ever use: see and find it here!

Maps On Us
"A Map, Route and Yellow Pages Service" linked with

MSN Maps and Directions (formerly MapBlast!)
"Maps, Driving Directions, Yellow Pages" ... and more. Good driving directions section. Formerly MapBlast!

National Address and ZIP-plus-4 Browser
Find any zip + 4, plus corrected addresses (United States).

Alphabetical List of UE Links
| Communities | Daily Life | Directories and Search Engines |
| Environment | Government | Health & Safety | International |
| Labor Resources | Legal | Organizations | Political Action | Research |

Find Labor

Cyber Picket Line
The most comprehensive directory of labor on the Web. Period. Organized geographically. Clickable image map of the world. Includes other resources for union leaders and members.

E-Mail Directory of Labor Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean
"The Instituto Laboral de Education Sindical (Labor Studies Institute) of Puerto Rico presents this third edition of the e-mail directory of labor organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean." This site is dated: created in 1997. We've been unable to located an updated edition on the web.

Global Labour Directory of Directories
A directory of the top ten labor directories from around the world, ranked by thoroughness. If it's a union you're looking for, check here first!

ICEM - Labour Resources on the Internet 
A well-organized list of unions and union resources on the net, maintained by the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM). Categories include: ICEM regional sites; global labour news; ICEM affiliate sites; other trade-union websites; and intergovernmental sites.

LaborNet's Labor Resources on the Internet
Resource lists include: "Union Directory; Labor, Employment & Government Statistics & Resources; Labor News Publications; Labor - Relevant Legislation & Legal Information; Labor Cartoons, Art, Video, Radio, Culture, History; Mainstream But Useful News Sources; International Labor Information; Other Excellent Labor Resource Sites"

Open Directory Project (dmoz) - Labor Movement: Unions
A growing list of labor union sites, compiled by volunteer editors. Worth checking.

Alphabetical List of UE Links
| Communities | Daily Life | Directories and Search Engines |
| Environment | Government | Health & Safety | International |
| Labor Resources | Legal | Organizations | Political Action | Research |

Find Government

Federal Web Locator
"The Federal Web Locator is a service provided by the Villanova Center for Information Law and Policy and is intended to be the one stop shopping point for federal government information on the World Wide Web." Translation: Check here to find government web sites and info.

"A comprehensive central access point for searching, locating, ordering and acquiring government and business information" Operated by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS).

"The official website for searching the U.S. Government: Welcome to FirstGov — the first-ever government website to provide the public with easy, one-stop access to all online U.S. Federal Government resources. FirstGov allows users to browse a wealth of information — everything from researching at the Library of Congress to tracking a NASA mission. Conduct important business online — such as applying for student loans, tracking Social Security benefits, comparing Medicare options and even administering government grants and contracts."

Google's U.S. Government Search
Search U.S. federal government websites with Googles uncanny accuracy.

UN Organizations
Official Web Site Locator for the United Nations System of Organizations; includes: "a listing of all United Nations Organizations (UNOs) with their abbreviations and city locations of headquarters sites."

Alphabetical List of UE Links
| Communities | Daily Life | Directories and Search Engines |
| Environment | Government | Health & Safety | International |
| Labor Resources | Legal | Organizations | Political Action | Research |

Find Activists

Adam Rifkin's Activism Links Page
(No, he's not the movie guy). Not your normal links page. A long list of links (more than 400), organized in a number of categories. Many links are unusual and not-found on other links pages. ** Note: this site has not been updated since 1998, and many links have "gone dead" ... but it's amazing how often this list appears on other websites, a testimonial to the effort that went into creating this list of links.

Jay's Leftist and 'Progressive' Alternative Media Links
Because you might miss this link on the main site, we've included another part of Jay's links here -- a long list of alternative media outlets, ranging from newspapers, bookstores and e-zines to radio, tv and film ...

Jay's Leftist and 'Progressive' Internet Resources Directory
With lots of links to progressive and activist organizations, this web site has long been a favorite of activists on the 'net. It can take quite a while to check out all of the offerings, but it's well worth a visit!

Got a Link to Suggest? Tell Us!

Alphabetical List of UE Links
| Communities | Daily Life | Directories and Search Engines |
| Environment | Government | Health & Safety | International |
| Labor Resources | Legal | Organizations | Political Action | Research |

This page was last updated on 10/24/2003
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