Online Search Books and Reference Guides

Online Search Books
Online Search Books

Learn How to Become an Expert at Searching for, and Finding, Information Online

The internet, and especially the search engine, is a private investigator’s best friend. Private investigators use the internet to search public records databases, look up phone numbers and addresses, search the dark web, do background checks, and more.

However, sifting through the myriad of search results provided by a search engine can be a daunting task and may consume a lot of your valuable time. Learn how to save time by focusing on the right search engines. Plus, learn how to enter the right queries to ensure the most relevant and accurate information is returned. The following books can help you:

  • Learn how to use the internet to dig up facts and information quickly
  • Learn how to search in the right places
  • Determine which websites provide relevant and accurate data and information and which can be trusted
  • Learn how to structure your search engine queries to ensure the most accurate results are returned and how to most efficiently sift through the results
  • Learn how to use advanced queries called Google Dorks
  • Learn where to find free online public records and databases
  • How to find commercial databases that contain millions of online records

List of Online Search Books

Following are several books that provide helpful instruction on conducting online searches. All of the books are available at

Librarian’s Guide to Online Searching

Librarian's Guide to Online Searching: Cultivating Database Skills for Research and Instruction, 5th Edition

Librarian’s Guide to Online Searching: Cultivating Database Skills for Research and Instruction, the 5th Edition
Librarians are trained experts in the art of finding information. The Librarian’s Guide to Online Searching is a book that explores the fundamental processes and procedures of conducting online searches for information. The book delves into databases and their structures, numerical data, free resources, and plenty of search tips you may not have known.

Find It Online: The Complete Guide to Online Research

Find It Online: The Complete Guide to Online Research, Second Edition

Find It Online: The Complete Guide to Online Research, Second Edition 

The Complete Guide to Online Research has been an essential reference to online searching for journalists, researchers, lawyers, professors, librarians, business executives, and students. Private eyes will find the tips useful.

This guide provides helpful information such as which search engines work best for certain types of queries. Also, it explains how to evaluate the credibility of a source. Plus, the author explains when it makes sense to pay for information, or when to subscribe to an online service.

The book has a 5-star rating, but for a relatively low number of reviews. It is available in both new and used format for under $10.00.

Online Searching: A Guide to Finding Quality Information Efficiently and Effectively 

Online Searching: A Guide to Finding Quality Information Efficiently and Effectively

This book really gets into the essence of searching from a librarian’s perspective. It walks the reader through a seven-step process from understanding your query to evaluating results. Plus, you’ll learn how to identify sources that are likely to produce the most relevant information. It includes an overview of internet-based and library-based search tools. Resources in the library include online catalogs, proprietary databases, and licensed products.

Anyone can use Google to find information. This book takes searching much further by delving into library search resources for the true online searchers.

Note, this guide has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and is available in both new and used formats at Amazon. The Second Edition of this book will be released in February 2019.

Open Source Intelligence Techniques

Open Source Intelligence Techniques: Resources for Searching and Analyzing Online Information

This book explains processes and methods for using Open Source Intelligence techniques to uncover information. Throughout, it explains how to use specialized online websites, open-source software and creative search techniques to find information. In addition, the book covers such techniques as how to find hidden social media content, website owner information, photo metadata, sensitive documents and much more. It explains where to find free investigative software, the best browser extensions, mobile apps, and the best target search engines.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


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