Search the Invisible Web with CompletePlanet

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Credit: PeopleImages

Note : Complete Planet has been discontinued as an Invisible Web search tool. Read What is the Invisible Web? for more information on how to search this amazing repository of somewhat undiscovered Web content. 

What is CompletePlanet?

CompletePlanet was an Invisible Web portal with fast service, relevant results, and an easy to use interface. CompletePlanet was able to search over 70,000+ searchable databases and specialty search engines, a pretty impressive number, and searchers found that their search results for a number of different queries were right on target with credible, reliable results (most worthy of a good footnote or two). CompletePlanet was a great research tool for not only the casual Web surfer who might be looking for some answers, but also for the serious researcher who needed reliable information that was backed up by a variety of credible sources.

While CompletePlanet has unfortunately been discontinued, there are a number of useful research sources that fill the gap left behind, including:

How To Search The Invisible Web With CompletePlanet

The CompletePlanet home page was very well laid out and made the service very user-friendly. There was a wide variety of topics from which to choose from, which made this a good place to start if searchers had a really good idea of where their particular search query was headed. 

For example, a simple search for "clouds" using the standard search bar returned 187 "related databases." CompletePlanet results were a bit different than searching for the word "clouds" in a less focused search portal; instead of the search results page being full of links to a whole host of Web sites, CompletePlanet used its technology called Deep Query Manager instead to search databases. The results, therefore, were made up of various Invisible Web databases.

A search for clouds using the topic database worked a bit differently. Searchers were able to choose the topic "science" in order to initially narrow down their search, with the option to explore "Meteorology". CompletePlanet only returned one result for the initial search query of clouds, but it was a pretty good one - it turned out to be the Australian government's Greenhouse and Climate change page. Some searchers might have preferred narrowing down their topic from the start in CompletePlanet, since the results were more targeted and relevant; however, that is completely a personal preference.

At the bottom of every search result, users would see little colored squares to indicate how relevant the result is to the original search query; the highest score is four squares, so the more squares, the better. Next to that searchers would see the size of that particular file and the date it was "harvested", rather, when CompletePlanet indexed that page.

CompletePlanet Advanced Search

CompletePlanet Advanced Search was standard; users would get the option to search by title, keyword, description, date, etc. Another valuable search resource was CompletePlanet Search Help - it was a great introduction to what searchers were able to do with CompletePlanet.

CompletePlanet - A Great Resource

CompletePlanet was a wonderful resource to dive into the Invisible Web, and made it simple to narrow down searches without a lot of complicated search syntax or search operators. CompletePlanet searched the Invisible Web directly; therefore results overall were of a higher standard (since they were in academic, government, military, etc. databases) than if users searched for the same item in a general search engine. Ease of use also set CompletePlanet apart; it was easy to narrow down or broaden a search in addition to promoting exploration in topics users might not have otherwise come up with. CompletePlanet was a valuable addition to the web's best search engines, and while it has been discontinued, the use of this tool sparked many users into diving deeper into what can be found using Invisible Web resources.