blog: Invisible Web

By CaitdCaitd (1223858524|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

Introduction to the Invisible Web and How it Can Be Useful to Students

What is the "Invisible Web?"

The Invisible or Deep Web is internet content that will not surface during searches using general search engines because they do not index them. The Invisible Web indexes an estimated 7,500 terabites of data. Why is this so important for students? Academic content such as books and journals is moving to the internet. Most of the content is moving from print to an electronic form, and most of this content is being placed in the Invisible Web. I have found this to be useful when searching for specific key facts or quotations when I am going back over articles or books for a second time to write papers or when I am studying for an exam.

What search engines can students use to access the Invisible Web?

  • Google Scholar
  • Scirus
  • BNet
  • Turbo10


Google Scholar is good starting point for students. If you know exactly for what you are looking, this is a great starting point. It is extremely comprehensive. You can search full text. This is extremely useful to students. It can help you search for the key phrases or facts you are
looking for in a long paper. Also, now you do not need to pay for access to many articles and books. Google Scholar is not a magic fix to your researching needs; however, it has not been updated since its launch and searching by anything other than a query is a waste of a student's valuable time.


Turbo10 is a search engine that searches the Invisible Web. To try it out, I searched "carbon trading" into the search box. I got decent results. Most were relevant; however, the search results did return results on how to obtain carbon for industrial use which was not quite useful. While you are searching, the purple bar progress bar will flash at you until the results are all the way loaded. To the left under the purple bar, there will be search clusters. Search clusters are the top ten categories that come up in your search. These aid your search by making it faster to search by key word and to find the most relevant topic. You can also search by results from specific search engines.


Bnet is also a search engine that searches the Invisible Web. I tried searching "carbon trading" into the search box here as well. The most relevant feature for students I found to be was the RSS feeds that Bnet provides. Students are busy. If you have an ongoing research project, you can subscribe to an RSS feed from Bnet. That way you have the most comprehensive search of the Invisible Web being updated for you! The search returns is fairly relevant content as well.


Scirus is a Invisible Web search engine that is science specific. Great for engineering and premed majors or just those that are interested in the sciences. Unfortunately not all results contain full text. Scirus has several great features such as the ability to specify your search to fit your needs. There are helpful suggestions as to how to edit your search to best fit your needs. This is a time saver for the busy student. Also results can be sorted by relevance or date.

Basically, every student should be using this resource. Why? It allows us access to a greater source of information. It will make our final products better because the amount of resources we have access to has increased. Also with helpful searching features and RSS feeds it makes our lives as students easier by saving us time.

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