Today's dark web is a lot like the "public" Internet used to be a couple of decades ago. Not very many people are familiar with it, only those in the know can gain access to it and it is generally pretty difficult to find your way around.

As such, most people that end up on the "secret" Internet simply follow link after link in an effort to find what they're looking for. Having a direct URL to follow can be useful at times but because several sites make a habit of changing their address out of an abundance of caution or after a DDoS attack, it's not always a sure thing.

Many people use the dark web for illegal activities like buying drugs, firearms, stolen credit cards and so on. Finding a suitable market to obtain such commodities is now a bit easier thanks to the recent launch of a new search engine called Grams.

Accessible only through the Tor anonymizing browser (at grams7enufi7jmdl.onion), the search engine serves up results from eight online markets including Agora, BlackBank, Cloud-Nine, Evolution, NiceGuy, Pandora, SilkRoad2 and The Pirate Market. Gram's developer(s) created and supplied an API to market owners that lets the engine scrape their product listings.

Query results, which resemble Google search results in terms of appearance and functionality, include the vendor's name, URL and price for a particular product. There's even an "I'm Feeling Lucky" button and options to filter results based on price, listing time, etc.

Running a search engine isn't cheap, both on the surface web and on the dark web. As a result, Grams is planning to implement an advertising system similar to Google AdWords that will allow vendors to buy targeted ads. That service will be active within the next two weeks, the dev added.