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Specialist Legal Search Engines

A good starting-point for international legal research.
LawCrawler International
Allows you to search for legal resources within a specified country.
LawRunner – Global
A “search template” to “facilitate usage of the most complex query parameters built into the AltaVista Software”. Search for legal resources in any one of 238 jurisdictions.
LawRunner – Australia
LawRunner’s template to search for Australian legal information.
Search the FindLaw website’s huge collection of US and international legal links.
Search interface for legal resources.
Legal Engine Search
Another good starting-point for US and international legal research.
Internet Legal Resource Guide Search a categorized index of more than 4000 selected web sites in 238 jurisdictions.
A general search engine and web directory with a section specifically devoted to legal topics.
Another general search engine and web directory with a section devoted to legal topics.
University Law Review Project
Full text search of law journals on the internet.
Meta-Index for U.S. Legal Research
Collected search forms for primary U.S. legal data.

Related Search Engines

A global database of process servers.
Crime Spider
Search the Internet for crime and law enforcement websites.
LEO Links
Directory and search engine of law enforcement websites.
Public Safety Search Engine
Search engine of Public Safety related web sites.
Magazine articles research portal – legal subjects.

Legal Search Engine and Web Directory Links

Virtual Legal Search Engines
Internet Legal Search Engines & Indexes
AustLII Indexes and Search Engines
Legal Search Engines and Guides
Search Engine Watch: Legal Search Engines


Australia’s top 5

Anzwers (web crawler)
Google (web crawler)
Ozsearch (portal)
Webcrawler (meta search engine)
AustlII (invisible web)

Web crawlers

A web crawler (also known as “indexer”) scours the Internet looking for pages to “index”. It then indexes all of the words in that page. Every word in that page is searchable by a user once it is saved to the database.
To find out more about web crawlers go to Wikipedia.
Aeiwi Not your normal search engine, Aeiwi has you click on words to build your search.
AlltheWeb Searches webpages, news, pictures, videos, MP3 and FTP files.
AltaVista The oldest crawler-based search engine on the web.
Anzwers Australian and New Zealand search engine.
Ask Jeeves Innovative online search service that processes plain language queries with surprising accuracy.
BBC Search the Web Based on Google search technology.
Google Makes heavy use of link popularity as a primary way to rank websites. Users across the web have in essence voted for good sites by linking to them. Clean design. Searches images and PDF.
Hotbot Powered by Lycos
Ilor Powered by Teoma
Infoseek Also called ‘Go.com’. Powered by Overture
Lycos Lycos has been around since the early days of the net and is still one of the most popular search engines. The service employs human editors for some of its listings, complemented by crawler-based results.
Mirago Mirago is a search engine which enables users to view the Internet from a UK perspective and find information relevant to their geographic location.
New Zealand Explorer
Onekey Kid safe. Powered by Google
Raging search Lite version of Alta Vista
Webwombat locally built Australian search engine


A web portal is generally considered to be a site that organizes information by topic. Whereas the web crawler lets you define the search criteria and searches all pages which it is capable of searching on the Internet, a portal organizes the sites by topic to help you find what you’re looking for.

Portals are very efficient for finding common information, but they are unable to organize everything so specific information isn’t nearly as easy to find. This is one of the first rules to know when deciding between a crawler and a portal in order to find information.

Access New Zealand Access New Zealand provides a searchable directory of web sites maintained by New Zealand companies and organisations.
Big Hub
Jayde Search engine for ebusinesses
Looksmart Human compiled directory.
Lycos Lycos has been around since the early days of the net and is still one of the most popular search engines. The service employs human editors for some of its listings, complemented by crawler-based results.
MSN Directory listings and search results.
Netscape Open Directory Also called DMOZ
Northern Light Search facility and organises material by topic
Official search Searches for official or authorised websites only
Yahoo Australia

Meta search engines

Meta search engines query several other Web search engine databases in parallel.

Debriefing Powered by IXQuick
ez2find This meta search engine provides results from AllTheWeb, AltaVista, Google, Open Directory, Teoma, Wisenut and Yahoo.
Family Friendly Search Meta search service that queries major kid-friendly search engines.
Fazzle Fazzle offers a highly flexible and customizable interface to a wide variety of information sources, ranging from general web results to specialized search resources in a number of subject specific categories. Formerly called SearchOnline.
Frame search
Go2Net Powered by Metacrawler
Highway 61
Icy Spicy
Inference Find Also called ‘Fetcher’
Ithaki Ithaki is probably the most “global” of all meta search engines, available in 14 languages and offering more than 35 different categories for limiting your search. In addition, Ithaki offers country specific search, querying only local search engines rather than the regional versions of the major search engines.
KartOO Meta search engine which presents its results on a map
Mamma Sends search requests to a number of major search engines
Metacrawler Previously Magellan
NewsTrawler Sends a query to one or more news sites, also listed by country and category
Prime Search
Pro Fusion Also invisible web
Scrub the Web
Search Co UK
Search com
Starting Point
SurfWax Also invisible web
Terespondo Spanish metacrawler that searches on the more popular search engines.
Use It!
Vivisimo Enter a search term, and Vivismo will not only pull back matching responses from major search engines but also automatically organize the pages into categories.
Watson for the Macintosh
Webcrawler One of the first and biggest search engines
Widow metasearch

Invisible web

The visible Web, or the Web as it is more commonly known, is comprised of HTML documents. They are crawled and indexed by search engines. Taken together, the information they contain is sometimes called the surface Web.

The invisible Web is the information that is hidden below the surface and runs very deep, hence it is also called the hidden Web or the deep Web. A recent study estimates that the invisible Web is 500 times larger than the visible web. The invisible Web is comprised mostly of database content that can only be found using the search interface provided by the site the database is connected to.

Incy Wincy
Invisible Web Gateways
Librarians Index to the Internet Covers a large amount of invisible web databases
What is the invisible web, why does it exist and how to find it


Colossus International directory of search engines
Directory Guide
Direct Search
Find sounds.com
How to choose a search engine or directory
LookOff.com Site devoted to navigating the net
Mesa Email Email address search engine
Search Bug Collection of search and reference sites, ranging from reverse phone number searches to package tracking, as well as covering the major search engines. Formerly called Search-It-All.
Search engine guide
Search engine showdown The user’s guide to web searching
Search engine watch
Search engines worldwide Search engines categorised by country
Searchengines.com Directory of search engines
XRefer Online reference library with access to 120 reference booksBack to Legal Resources and Other Useful Links