TITLE: InvisibleWeb.com.

ACCESS: http://www.invisibleweb.com.

There is undiscovered gold in "them thar" hills and, in spite of the best efforts of our most sophisticated search engines, the mother lode eludes all but the most diligent researchers.

Rich sources of well-maintained, quality information reside deep within specialized databases buried below the surface of many Web sites. These hidden treasures are often difficult to locate using traditional search tools because they remain unavailable to search engine Web crawlers, spiders and intelligent agents that work to gather and deliver their location. This wealth of unseen but accessible information is commonly referred to as "the invisible Web."

InvisibleWeb.com is a specialized Web site and search engine that collects, reviews, describes, indexes and links to the best of this hidden content. The site is a recent runner up in the "2000 Search Engine Watch Awards" for "Best Specialty Search" category (http://searchenginewatch.com/awards/). InvisibleWeb.com is designed to point you and your patrons to valuable, but often undiscovered information resources.

Intelliseek Inc., developer of commercial automated desktop and "corporate intelligence" search products, created the site. The company's significant technical expertise is integrated into the design and sophisticated search functionality of the InvisibleWeb.com site.

InvisibleWeb.com is a well-organized tool with a smart and simple interface linking to over 12,000 selected Web search engines that cover a broad subject range. Collected resources include searchable archives, guides, directories, research data, lists, reference tools, knowledge bases and more. Sites considered for inclusion are suggested by users or gathered via Intelliseek's "automated discovery technology." InvisibleWeb.com distinguishes itself from similar efforts by employing human editors called "subject matter experts" who review submissions for quality and accuracy. Once a site is selected, the editors index and describe the database, and categorize resources in sensible directory taxonomy. The result is a lean, select set of resources that provide quality results.

The simple, intuitive search interface will satisfy both advanced and novice searchers. Simple "and" searching is the default, but natural language recognition and advanced Boolean searching options are available. All options and features are presented in an intuitive and user customizable screen layout.

Result sets offer direct hits of surprising relevance with concise resource descriptions. Linked results lead users directly to the search input form at the resource site. The result pages also offer the user an appropriate set of links in a directory format for subject browsing. The resource collection at InvisibleWeb.com shows particular strength in the areas of business, legal, and government research. Many resources are appropriate to the highest levels of academic research but the site also provides coverage of useful and generalized data sources for the casual user in areas such as entertainment, travel, and simple directory services.

Whether your pot of gold is the elusive "Windows 95 Annoyances Database" or a database of "NSF Sponsored Research at the Colorado School of Mines," you may well wish to start your dig at InvisibleWeb.com.

Mark A. Smith
NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University

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