10 Best Deep Search Engines For Exploring The Invisible Web

In this article, you will learn about some of the most important ones and what kind of information you can find there.

If you’re like most people, you probably think the gateway to the whole web is Google. However, Google uses a web crawler to find what content on the site to show you when you search for certain topics. This web crawler can only find web pages. It Can’t Find the Invisible Web – the collection of data and information houses behind deep web search engines and database query forms.

What is the invisible web?

The web is like an onion. There are several layers, almost like the Earth. The top level of “surface” of this great planet “Internet” consists of all the sites that search engines crawl and index. This is what you typically find in normal search results. However, there are deeper layers of the web, accessible through sites other than normal search engines.

  • Deep web: Databases and programs that users must interact with to extract content and other information from underlying databases.
  • Dark web: Requires a dedicated web browser that directly accesses websites on an “alternate” Internet, using direct addressing for servers and sites. Typically used for illicit or illegal content.
  • Invisible web: The Invisible Web is an alternate name for the Deep Web. This is called “invisible” because search engines cannot access this information.

How to explore the “invisible web”? The truth is, you need to know which sites contain the query engine for those underlying databases. In this article, you will learn about some of the most important ones and what kind of information you can find there.

The Best Deep Web Search Engines

The following is a quick list of the best deep web search engines that we’ll cover in more detail in this article. Also, unlike other articles you will find on this topic, this list is true for the deep web (the invisible web), not the dark web. In addition, these services are all free.

Do you remember visiting a website years ago that you loved, but it disappeared from the internet? Well, you can still enjoy all the content you enjoyed on this website using the Wayback Machine.

Just type the URL of that website into the search box and select Browse history.

return machine

You will see the Wayback Machine database results along with the snapshots the site has captured over time from the origin of the website.

return machine

Select one of the green (successful) snapshots and you will be redirected to the version of this website on that date. Do you remember Yahoo GeoCities?

return geocities

The Wayback Machine is one of the most entertaining websites for fully exploring the long and fun history of the Internet.

Do you like to broaden your mind by reading academic journals and articles? The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is the site for you.

Simply type in the topic you are interested in using the search box and select To look for.

doaj research

Search results include links to go to the free journal or website, the majority of which are absolutely free.

doaj results

It’s a great first stop if you’re doing some academic research or want to read something informative on topics that interest you.

If you love history, you will love Elefind. You can search on any topic that interests you and find newspaper scans dating as far back as the 1700s.

elephant search

Select one of the links in the results to see the actual scans of the original journal.

elephant cut

You can go back and read articles covering some of the most famous historical events from the perspective of journalists who lived through that time.

Libraries are still the largest collections of information in the world that you can keep and browse. If you want to see if something is available at a nearby library without having to go there, you can use the WorldCat Library Search page to check.

world cat search

The results you will see are a combination of books and print resources and electronic information sources.

Worldcat results

In many cases, if you have a library card, you can use the link to get a copy of your library without even having to go there.

If you are a researcher looking for a government grant, want to learn more about government services for people with disabilities, or just want more information about the government response to emergencies, USA.gov is a good one. good first stop.

american government

For US citizens, this is the best place to go if you are unsure of where to start when looking for government resources. Just use the search box at the top to search for the topic you are interested in.

While many results are also searchable through Google, USA.gov focuses on government resources. This means that information that may not appear so easily on Google will be much easier to find here.

If you like eBooks, you really need to start using Project Gutenberg. The site has around 60,000 free eBooks that you will never find if you use Google to search for them.

Use the Project Gutenberg search box to search by subject, title, or author.


You will find surprisingly popular eBooks and well-known authors.

gutenberg project

You will also find many other obscure eBooks that you will be glad you discovered. It really is a treasure trove of good reading.

You’ve probably heard of Google Books. This is where you can search for digitized versions of books and buy them to read. However, did you know that there is an entire section of Google Books dedicated to free books?

From the Google Free Books page, you can search the entire collection by subject, title, or author.

search for books google

When you find and select a title, you can use the Google Books e-reader to scroll through the pages as you read.

read google book

These aren’t exactly NY Times bestselling novels, but many of the free digital titles you’ll find here are interesting. The focus here is mainly on old or vintage books that are no longer in circulation. However, you might also come across a more modern headline every now and then.

If you are a student or researcher, Google Scholar is a great resource for finding citations and references. This search tool will display various academic articles, books, white papers, and even court opinions that are freely available to the public.

google scholar results

You will see links to the right of each synopsis to read the content. This is usually in HTML or PDF format.

ibiblio is probably one of the most useful sites for anyone interested in free digital content. You can browse or search for open source software, music, literature, and more on this site.

library results

If you don’t know where to start, it is highly recommended that you use the Browse by categorized tags section. The list of categories will give you a good indication of what kind of free digital content you will find in this vast collection.

We have already mentioned the Wayback Machine in this article. However, the site that hosts this tool also contains another large collection of free digital content for the public – Internet Archive.

internet archives

Just use the search box on the main page to search for free software, articles, books, movies, audio, and more. If you’re not sure what you want, select one of the icons representing the type of content you’re interested in.

As you can see from the numbers under each icon, the digital collection is huge and full of very cool and free stuff.

Rosemary S. Bishop