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A Quick Look At LookSmart


UPDATE: As of 2009, LookSmart has evolved into a search advertising network and no longer provides search information.

LookSmart is an interesting search engine service that's kind of hard to classify as merely a "search engine." Powered by WiseNut, with over 180 vertical search sites, a bookmarking and sharing tool (Furl), and their very own article search engine (FindArticles.com), LookSmart has a lot to offer any searcher.


The Articles tool allows the searcher to find and read millions of articles from over 900 publications, on virtually any subject out there. For college students or anyone else conducting any sort of research, this is an invaluable tool. Some of these articles require paid access, but you can easily filter out any pay-per-view search results by checking the “Free” box at the top of the search results page, or just staring out your search in free articles only with the dropdown menu.

There are four options available in the Articles tool: search by subject (you pick), search by publication, search by general topic (LookSmart’s subject guide), and search in the already compiled Research Guides. All in all, an exceptional tool.


Furl gives users the ability to save copies of any Web page, search within your own personal archive of Web pages, and share what you find. Furl was one of the very first social bookmarking tools, and continues to be one that people use to find and share good stuff on the Web.

People also use Furl to create their own personal shopping lists, real estate directories, job searches, student research papers, etc. This may just sound like a fancy way of saying bookmarks; but the thing about Furl is that you can access it from any computer, which means that your Favorites will go with you, and can be shared with anyone.

LookSmart Search Tips

LookSmart has a lot to offer. To show you just what I mean, we'll do a sample search for cheese.

Search results for cheese bring back many search options in LookSmart. First, obviously I have general Web results, but if I want to get deeper in the world of cheese, I can:

LookSmart Vertical Search

In addition, I could've also looked for cheese in LookSmart's vertical search engine channels, anything from Tech to Auto is covered here. My only quibble with LookSmart is that they make the vertical search channels somewhat tricksy to navigate in and out of, but they're still worth a search-through.

LookSmart - An Oldie but a Goodie

LookSmart has been around in various forms since December 1996, which makes it only a few months younger than Yahoo (October 1996) and older than Google by at least a year. LookSmart continues to move ahead in the search space with social bookmarking and social networking tools such as Furl and FindArticles, and with the unveiling of over 180 vertical search channels they've been able to offer a lot to the searcher. I would love to see LookSmart do even more innovative stuff and become even more of a major player in the search engine/search service arena.

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