How to Mine the Invisible Web: The Ultimate Guide

Search and discover untapped invisible web resources

Man in boat looking through spyglass

Stephen Swintek/Getty Images

The invisible/deep web refers to the vast amount of information that isn't easily discoverable in a general search engine query. This might include databases, private networks, and password-protected data.

However, there are a wide variety of high-quality invisible web search tools and directories that can help you mine this fantastic resource that's considered to be thousands of times larger than the visible/surface web.

The following invisible web resources will connect you to a virtual goldmine of knowledge. Each link connects you to a resource that helps you find information that isn't easily found with just a simple, rudimentary search, so that you can dive deep into untapped treasure troves of information. 

The dark web is different than the deep/invisible web.

Invisible Web Directories and Search Engines

  • Invisible Web Directories: Many individuals and institutions have put together web directories that you can use as a jumping off point to surf the deep web.
  • Invisible Web Search Engines: Several of the best search engines for the invisible web where you can find government details, science and math information, old websites, site rankings, and more.

Invisible Web Research Databases and Reference Tools

  • Wikipedia Alternatives: Wikipedia is perhaps the most popular reference site online, with countless high-quality articles available on virtually any topic.
  • Google Scholar: A search engine from Google that you can use to search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, books, abstracts, and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities, and other scholarly organizations.

Find People with the Invisible Web

Use the Invisible Web to Find Public Records

Books and Printed Materials on the Invisible Web

  • How to Find Works in the Public Domain: Public domain books are books where the copyrights have passed into the public domain, meaning that they can be used, reproduced, or incorporated in any way without any restrictions.
  • Where to Find Free Audiobooks: Audiobooks are similar to public domain eBooks. There are tons of them available on the invisible web.