The Visible Web
The Web pages retrieved as a result of search engine queries or use of a Web directory are called the visible Web. They are readily accessible to anyone conducting an Internet search.
Specialized Online Databases (The Invisible Web)
There are also a variety of full-text or statistical databases available on the Internet. Most of these are not free. Your college library may provide online access to more common databases such as EbscoHost, Ethnic Newswatch, Informe, Poem Finder and many, many others. Some of these databases include full-text magazine or newspaper articles. Others may contain reference, statistical or biographical data.
Usually off-campus access to these proprietary databases is limited to those who have been issued a user name and a password. Students at Hartnell College have access to online databases both on and off campus. Hartnell students who wish to access Hartnell College Library electronic resources from off campus may do so by following the instructions found in this handout.
The invisible Web is also composed of online multimedia that may not be detected or indexed by search engine or search directory spiders. To access these Internet resources, the researcher must rely on additional tools such as specialized directories or portals. For a more information, please read this online article that discusses The Invisible Web.
For an example of how Invisible Web resources differ from those found by search engine queries, try searching the name Ruth Daigon using Ask Jeeves. Note the results and the type of information found by following some of the links. Now go to the Gale Literature Resource Center to search for information about Ruth Daigon. If you are prompted for a logon, use the following off-campus Library ID: hartnell
Compare the number of search results and quality of information found from each of these searches.
The following tutorials will provide additional background on Invisible Web resources:
- Why are some pages invisible?
- How to find the Invisible Web
- The Invisible Web: Sites and Content
- About Specialized Search Engines
- An A - Z Guide to Specialized Search Engines