The 12 Best Deep Search Engines For Exploring The Invisible Web

Everything on the web will not appear in a list of search results on Google or Bing; there are a lot of places that their web crawlers cannot access.

To explore the invisible web, you must use specialized search engines. Here are our top 12 services for doing in-depth internet research.

What is the invisible web?

Before we begin, let’s establish what the term “invisible web” refers to? Simply put, it’s a catch-all term for online content that won’t show up in search results or web directories.

There is no official data available, but most experts agree that the invisible web is several times the size of the visible web. Since Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook alone store over 1,200 petabytes between them, the numbers quickly become mind-boggling.

The content of the Invisible Web can be roughly divided into Deep Web and Dark Web.

Related: What Does the Dark Web Look Like?

The Deep Web

The Deep Web comprised of content that generally requires some form of accreditation to access it. For example, library databases, email inboxes, personal files (financial, academic, medical, and legal), cloud storage drives, corporate intranets, etc.

If you have the correct information, you can access the content through a regular web browser.

The dark web

The dark web is a subsection of the deep web. You must use a dedicated dark web browser (such as Tor) to view the content. It is more anonymous than the regular web and is therefore often the hotbed of illegal activities such as the sale of drugs and weapons.

The best invisible web search engines

1. Pipl

Pipl is promoting itself as the world’s largest people search engine. Unlike Google, Pipl can interact with searchable databases, member directories, court records, and other in-depth internet research content to give you a detailed snapshot of a person.

2. The return machine

Traditional search engines only provide results for the most recent version of a website available.

The Wayback Machine is different. It has copies of over 361 billion web pages on its servers, allowing you to search for content that is no longer available on the visible web.

3. The WWW virtual library

The WWW Virtual Library is the oldest catalog on the web. It was started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, in 1991.

Volunteers compile the link list by hand, creating a high-quality index of deep web content in dozens of categories.

4. DuckDuckGo

duck at home

DuckDuckGo is well known as a private search engine for the visible web, but did you know that the company also offers an onion site that lets you explore the dark web?

Even the classic search engine offers more in-depth web content than Google. It aggregates the results of more than 500 stand-alone search tools to find its results. If you combine the standard DuckDuckGo engine with the .onion version, you can perform a full web search.

The onion site can be found at http://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/.


The amount of content on is truly impressive. It’s a portal to all the public material you need on every federal agency and state, local, or tribal government.

You will also find information on government jobs, loans, grants, taxes and more. Most of the information on the site will not appear on Google.

6. Directory of open access journals

to do

The Directory of Open Access Journals is a comprehensive Internet search engine that provides access to academic articles. The papers are accessible to everyone free of charge.

The current repository has nearly 10,000 journals with 2.5 million articles on all subjects. Google Scholar can access some information, but we think DOAJ is a better search tool.

7.notEvil Dark Web

If you’re looking for a dark web search engine, check out notEvil Dark Web. The site has a .onion domain name, so it cannot be accessed through a standard web browser. To load it, open a dark web browser such as Tor and paste hss3uro2hsxfogfq.onion in the address bar.

It has a database of over 32 million dark websites which means if it exists this search engine can probably find it.

8. elephant


Elepind aims to provide a single portal to all historical newspapers in the world. It’s a fantastic resource for researchers — especially family historians, genealogists, and students.

Many of the logs on the site are exclusively on the Deep Web; they will not appear on Google. At the time of writing, 3.6 million newspapers are available.

9. Shuttle voice

For anyone interested in the humanities, Voice of the Shuttle is an essential resource. The site went live in 1994 and today boasts one of the most impressive collections of deep curated web content.

There are over 70 pages of annotated links covering everything from architecture to philosophy.

ten. Ahmia

Ahmia search box

Ahmia is a dark web search engine. But there is a twist — it’s one of the few dark web search engines that is available on the regular web.

Of course, links and results can only be opened if the Tor browser is installed on your computer. However, it’s still a great way to get a taste of what’s available on the dark web without exposing yourself to the risks inherent in using the dark web.

11. WorldCat

How do you know which books the various local libraries in your area have in stock? Browsing the site of each library individually takes time and can lead to errors.

Instead, check out WorldCat. This in-depth internet search engine contains two billion indexed items from libraries around the world, including many links that are usually only available with a database search.

12. Gutenberg Project

gutenberg project

If you search for obscure and royalty-free eBooks on Google, you will need to click multiple pages to find a result that provides a download link.

Project Gutenberg offers over 58,000 free ebooks to view and download.

Learn more about the invisible web

The 12 search engines we have presented to you should provide a solid foundation on which to start your content hunt.

Unfortunately, one of the most famous in-depth search engines of the past, Deeppeep, no longer exists, but all of the article sites can help recreate the lost functionality.

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Rosemary S. Bishop