Search engines come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. MiamiBeach411 is a local search engine that connects businesses, news, and events to the web.
This is a site you should know about -- ZabaSearch is a search engine that specializes in personal data. Here is what Wired had to say:
"A search for personal data on ZabaSearch.com -- one of the most comprehensive personal-data search engines on the net -- tends to elicit one of two reactions from first-timers: terror or curiosity. Which reaction often depends on whether you are searching for someone else's data, or your own.
ZabaSearch queries return a wealth of info sometimes dating back more than 10 years: residential addresses, phone numbers both listed and unlisted, birth year, even satellite photos of people's homes."
I gave it a test and the results are very accurate.
Here are some other specialized search engines that aren't so scary:
AJR Newslink Magazines
AJR Newslink Newspaper Index
Literature in the public domain:
OnLine Books Page, Search eBooks, Bartleby Library
Copyrighted books in print:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Google Images, Pics4Learning, Fagan Finder, ebay Postcards, Corbis
Images, sounds, videos of animals:
Images and info about any product of the last two centuries:
Primary source documents:
Library of Congress American Memory
Federal (U.S.) legislation:
Thomas Register, Industrial Quick Search
Biographical Dictionary, Biography.com, Biography-Center, Lives
Perry-Castañeda, Maptech MapServer (topo)
CIA Factbook, Atlapedia, Kiosk: Journal of Geopolitics
State & county profiles:
US Census Dept QuickFacts
U.S. Patent Office
Internet Movie Database
Shareware & freeware:
VersionTracker, C|Net Download, Tucows
Search-Engines2, Webquest, Search Engine Colossus
Did I miss anyone?