Beyond Google

Illustration by Jim Ludke
Illustration: Jim Ludtke
As heretical as this may seem to some PC users, Google doesn't know it all. Sure, the paragon of search engines deftly handles most of our search requests. But just as you wouldn't drive miles past the local grocery store to a cavernous warehouse club to buy a dozen eggs, you don't want to slog through pages of search results from Google or another search engine every time you need a bit of information.

Better to rely on a cadre of specialized sites that will swiftly retrieve the nuggets you're looking for. Here are the best data resources on the Web, from the latest business news sites to the most useful addresses for hearth and home.

Of course, there's still a place for the Googles of the world: The big engines remain the best choice for researching pop culture and similar topics. The chart, "Old Search Engines, New Tricks," lists new features of the major players. But whether you're interested in the usual suspects or little-known gems, I'm here to raise your information IQ.

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