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The internet is huge but you're only seeing a tiny fraction of it.

Don't get me wrong, Google is amazing - in a fact-finding and "let me google why my computer isn't turning on" kind of way. But Google's current algorithm is doing no favors for simple discovery. It's designed in such a way to show you the most popular pages first - but what if you don't want to see only the most popular, top-rated websites? Here are some ways to do it!

Web Rings

If you suspect or know any of these are not active, OR know of others, please let me know!

Geek Ring This is the old web! For all those funny, quirky, interesting, personal, strange, offbeat websites that's not page 1 on the search engines. Everyone here gets a chance to have their site viewed, and everyone will find something they have not seen before!

Requirements: Everyone who has a website where making money is not the primary goal. In short, if the site is for selling a product, or otherwise does not contain anything of interest to anyone not looking to pay money for products and services, it won't get in the ring, or will get kicked out. This is the real, good old noncommercial Internet that we vaguely remember. Open source and free software projects are welcome too.
Gossip's Web the directory of handmade webpages - submit your own for $1.

Requirements: Must be personal websites, web experiments, and community sites. Please don't submit links to social media, website builders, or crowdfunding platforms.
Hotline Webring Do you long for a simpler time, when America was Online and the only person you could Ask was Jeeves? Hotline Webring is bringing that time back, with Webrings!

Requirements: No hate speech, no advertisements, no bigotry.
Indieseek Webring Indieseek.xyz directory is intended to help navigate the Web. Specifically, we list websites and articles from the independent web or about the independent web. These websites include: personal blogs, topical blogs, older HTML web pages left over from Web 1.0 days, plus a list of links to resources that you may find useful in starting your own personal independent website, blog or even establish your own directory, like this one.

Requirements: listed here.
IndieWeb Webring
If you have a personal website, are adding IndieWeb features to it, and are interested in finding and being found by folks who are doing the same, you should join!

Requirements: listed here.
Low Tech Webring For homepages of people who are interested in low tech, small game tools, and other forms of Web 1.0 inspired creativity.

Requirements: Nothing that would need to be under an 18+ warning visible from the front page and clearly marked if it is present, and no hate speech or similar.
The Retronaut Website Some of us miss the messy old days of the Internet where we tried to get along and we'd link to each other's sites and it was all so much fun.

Requirements: None.
Weird Wide Webring The web needs a little more weird. These sites are helping.

Requirements: Your site must be unique and weird in some way. It can be the way it looks. It can be the way you write or what you write about. It can be the way it smells. It can be the way your footer is covered in feet, your sidebar has a sidebartender, or blog is spelled "blag". But there must be something.
Yesterweb Ring Relive the joys of the old web.

Requirements:13+ only, no hate speech/discrimination, no sites that exist to make money.

Curated Link Directories

href.cool a curated list of links in 75 categories.
Indieseek a list of independent websites, assisting in the navigation of the Independent Web.
Curlie A web directory and search. I haven't had a ton of luck with the search, but click on your language on the front page and you'll be taken to the directory of categories, where the magic really happens. A lot of the stuff is outdated though, but it's nice if you don't mind exploring some relics :)
/g/'s Good Sites a link list with lots of tech resources, pirating info, etc.
Peelopaalu's Directory a directory with a focus on 90s web nostalgia
Terra another custom link directory
Marjin's Linkroll a link list with interesting stuff!

Random Site Generators (for fans of StumbleUpon)

StumblingOn Click the green button to find a random page! Kind of annoying because there isn't any sort of overlay over the pages, so to keep "Stumbling" you have to keep the original tab with the button open. There are some seriously cool sites in there of ALL types, but the list isn't SUPER long so you will start to see dupes. You can submit sites though!
Gimme Serendipity One person's hobby project inspired by Stumbleupon - rate the random websites it shows you and it uses an algorithm to determine future recommendations. [Signup Required] This site has potential. I love its overlay and the ability to add new sites to the database. All sites are categorized as well, so you can just browse a specific topic. Could use some work for overall user experience, but adding new sites is SUPER easy!
Jumpstick Explore & discover the best of the internet. Overall, I feel like this site "feels" the most like Stumbleupon, UI-wise. All the sites load smoothly and there's a pretty good selection. No ability to add new sites yet but says it's coming soon.
ViralWalk Discover new sites with a walk through the internet. I liked this one but the "walk" button stopped working for me while logged in, so I didn't have too much time to explore :(
The Random Button Generate a site at random, from past r/internetisbeautiful submissions.
StumbleUponAwesome [Chrome/FF Browser extension] An awesome internet discovery button. Like StumbleUpon, but for developers, tech and science lovers.
BoredButton Press the button if you're bored to find a random page. There's nothing super great about this one, it's mostly in-browser games, could be a good timewaster for work?
The Useless Web Click the button to find a random 'useless' page, good for time wasters. Another one no overlay but lots of time wasters and games.
Sharkle A generator of "random awesomeness". Lots of personal browser projects, good for exploring some impressive sites.

Looking for something specific/old?

Try Yestersearch - it's a shameless plug I guess, but it's just Google that specifically searches Angelfire, Tripod and some old Geocities sites. It's good for finding old graphics!
Use MillionShort. Type your search in and change the dropdown to remove top [####] sites. It has been a HUGE help when trying to compile lists of a specific resource. Without this tool, no matter how I change my search query, I keep seeing the same stuff over and over. This tool filters that out.
Use search filters to narrow your search. For example, if you want to find something that probably existed on old personal websites, you can narrow your search on most search engines like this: site:neocities.org | site:angelfire.org | site:oocities.org | site:tripod.com - the | is called a 'pipe' and it means "OR", you can put as many as you like.
Try the search engine SearchMySite, an open source search engine for personal and independent websites.
Search Neocities sites only with VHSearch.
START the music!!