This article was published on April 29, 2012

30 specialized search engines focused on specific content

30 specialized search engines focused on specific content
Adam Vincenzini
Story by

Adam Vincenzini

Adam Vincenzini is the head of digital at London-based PR and social media agency, Paratus Communications. If you have spotted a new social Adam Vincenzini is the head of digital at London-based PR and social media agency, Paratus Communications. If you have spotted a new social media tool or web app that you'd like him to review, send him an email. Check out his personal blog at

Google is widely (and rightly) recognised as the mother of all search engines. But, if you need to drill down your searches by more specific details, do you trust Google to give you what you need every single time?

Here’s a collection of 3o vertical search engines which you should have up your sleeve when you need some specialist power.

Flights / Travel
1. – The leading flights search engine, providing information about all carriers to help you find the best deal.
2. – Very similar to SkyScanner and with an added ‘current searches’ widget to see what flights other people are searching for. (Particularly handy in Europe!)
3. Hipmunk – The San Francisco-based startup that’s swiftly revolutionizing trip-planning for savvy travelers with flights, trains and hotel search.


4. – Searches for content from blogs, Twitter, Facebook and more.
5. – Blog-specific search engine searching through more than 170 million blogs.
6. eBuzzing Labs – The top blogs section is a great place to start a topic-specific blogs and content.
7. – a reverse image search engine – this finds out where an image came from, how it’s being used and where you can find the best resolution version.
8. – Searches through more than 3 billion online photos.


People Search Engine

9. – Search for people all over the world from a simple interface.
10. – Aggregates public information from a number of sources to give a spread of person-specific information.


11. – The best free discussion board and forum search tool out there.


12. – Basic music search engine by artist and / or song title.
13. – Search over 7,000,000 tracks from the one location.
14. – Type in your favourite artist and then a map of similar artists will be returned (very cool).
15. – Search for and save your playlists in the cloud from this very slick site.

Audio and Video

16. – The web’s leading podcast search directory.
17. – Search over 35 million hours of video.



18. -Instead of starting a new presentation slide from scratch, see if the one you need is here.
19. – Search for files by type e.g. .ppt and .pdf etc.

Domain names

20. – A great way to search for website domain names and generate names if you are struggling for ideas. [Also, read this before naming your startup.]
21. – Another brainstorming tool to discover domain names.


22. – Great for finding different file versions e.g. .png and .ico.
23. – A standard icon search engine.
24. – One of the most comprehensive icon search engines on the web, includes really useful sub-category search.

Private search

25. – This engine allows you to search for sites without bring tracked at the other end.

Similar websites

26. – Search for sites similar to the ones you love in a simple way.


27. – Uses ‘slashtagging’ to narrow down your results.
28. – Tag search multiple search engines for the latest content.
29. – A social search community.
30. – Another social search engine with desktop capability.

While some of these are better alternatives to Google and the other major engines, for the most part, the big boys do it incredibly (incredibly, incredibly) well.

olly via shutterstock

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