Following the horrific attacks on New York and Washington DC, I did an article about how search engines reacted to the catastrophe and the best way to locate disaster information using them. That article is below, along with several others that also related to search engines and the terrorist attacks. I've also listed some resource pages compiled by the various search engines, which you may find useful.
Finding Disaster Coverage At Search Engines
SearchEngineWatch.com, Sept. 11, 2001
After the attacks on the United States, web users turned en masse to search engines for information. It took those services some time to adjust to the demand, but as the day progressed, many came up to speed. Both an analysis and tips on locating information.
The Effects of September 11 on the Leading Search Engine
First Monday, Oct. 2001
Similar to the piece I did above, this is another look at how Google reacted to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Attack on America: Coping with Information Overload
SearchDay, Sept. 17, 2001
Links to trusted sources to help us cope with the information overload caused by the attack on America.
ResearchBuzz 911 Coverage
A huge list of resources ranging from places to donate to reference information.
The Attack - How We Searched
About.com Web Search Guide, Sept. 14, 2001
Covers how survivor lists were created, problems with inaccuracies on them and how search engines coped.
The Terrorism Directory
SearchDay, Sept. 24, 2001
Who are the people we call terrorists? Why do they commit such horrific acts? The Terrorist Directory helps you conduct your own intelligence operation via the web
The Trade Center Disaster: Industry Response
Internet.com, Sept. 2001
Focuses on how the ecommerce and advertising industries have coped with the attacks.
LookSmart: American Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001
Compiled with large help from LookSmart's Zeal volunteer guides, you'll find links to coverage, message boards, relief efforts, victim information and more.
AltaVista/Moreover News Search
Get news stories from around the web, updated every 15 minutes.
Yahoo: World Trade Center and Pentagon Attack
Links to survivor lists, personal experience sites and Yahoo's "Full Coverage" news area about the attacks.
Google: News links and support information regarding attacks
Links and resources about the attacks, assembled by the staff of Google. All links below are similar resource compilations at other search engines and portals.
AOL: America in Crisis
Ask Jeeves WTC Resource Page
Lycos: What You Can Do
MSN: Disaster Response, How You Can Help
Yahoo Full Coverage: Emergency & Relief Information
Comprehensive list of relief organizations seeking assistance and more.
Lexus Nexus: Attack On America
If you are a Lexus Nexus subscriber, a special area has been compiled about the attacks.
1MC: One Million Contributors
A list of places seeking or needing contributions.
Our changing response to the attacks can be seen in our search queries. In the first week, queries for "world trade center" and news sites were common, as people sought the latest information about the disaster. Then we saw queries about giving donations (red cross), or learning more about those suspected to be behind the attacks (osama bin laden) or ways to fight back symbolically (american flag). Now things are more "back to normal," in that the top search terms are not almost entirely to do with the attacks, as was the case two weeks ago at Lycos. However, many of the searches remain related to the disaster.
Some more "normal terms" are also beginning to return at Yahoo, though the attacks are still a dominate theme.
You can see how attack-related terms are still present at Google but changing in their nature -- "anthrax" is a new worry, rising from out of nowhere, for example.
News knocks out sex in Net searches
Reuters, Sept. 19, 2001
Search logs reflect how deeply the attacks in New York and Washington DC affected people. Almost without precedent, the "traditional" terms that are always high in popularity were replaced by those related to the tragedy.