Search Engine Showdown

Web Subject Directories

Last updated Oct. 01, 2007.
by Greg R. Notess

Subject directories include human-selected Internet resources and are arranged and classified in hierarchical topics. Most search engines and portals have a subject directory component or partner. Use these for with broad topics and to find a few good sites on a particular topic.

  Selection Size Boolean Truncation Fields Sorting
User Submitted, editors 3,000,000? +, - Automatic, except in phrase t:title
Categories then Google
Open Directory
75,000 editors 4,830,000 and, or, andnot, +, - Yes, * None Categories then sites
Librarians' Index (LII) Public Librarians 10,000 and, or, not, ( ) "phrase" Yes, * Subject, title, author, more Relevance
InfoMine Academic Librarians 120,000 and, or, and not, ( ), near4 Yes, * Subject, title, author, more Relevance, title


Academic selections 30,000? and, OR, - No None Relevance

There are many other specialized subject directories and many other general ones. is arranged like a subject directory and includes over  400 meta sites on many topics. Others to consider include the World Wide Web Virtual Library, GoGuides, and JoeAnt. Also consider using Wikipedia as a very selective directory. Find an article on the topic and look for "List of [topic]" entry like "List of Web directories" or the "External Links" section of an article.