Introduction and Overview on Internet Search Engines
The internet is huge, to the point of virtual endlessness; it’s similar to a library in which there isn’t card index, and doesn’t have titles on the ‘book-spines’; everyone can know the whole thing that is there, at any given instant; the finest instrument we presently have for searching specific info on the internet is the ‘search engine’ (Bolles, 2005). To date millions of commercial, educational and government websites have been established; these sites provide a wealth of information about current retail products and research into new product concepts; the Internet Domain Survey of 2005 determined that there were over 350,000,000 host website on the internet (Hitchcock, 2005). It’s a foul generalization, however ‘search engine’ is a like a ‘Find Command’ in the ‘Word processor’; when a user desires to locate a ‘definite document’, the user enter a ‘keyword’ on the ‘file command’, and the ‘word processor-software’ finds for an equivalent (Bolles, 2005). According to Bolles, the variations can be categorized into 3 factors: the method the web is indexed; the method the index is searched, results returned, and ranked; and the method sponsored matches and advertising are dealt.
‘Search engines’ are ‘computer-programs’ that lurk on the internet by means of a ‘software tool’ known as spider or crawler, & generate a ‘database of pointers’ to a variety of ‘web-pages’. The algorithm those various ‘search-engines’ employ in indexing the web may differ considerably from one ‘search engine’ to the other (Bolles, 2005). According to Bolles, ‘search-engines’ don’t look for the internet straightforwardly; they look for the database which they gathered on the internet by means of spiders.
Search Engine Choices
The names of Search websites have become commonplace; who hasn’t heard of Google or Yahoo? Other popular search engines include MSN, AskJeeves, Lycos, and Infospace (Berger, 2007).
The most popular search engine today is Google. Google offers a huge search index (more than eight billion entries), highly relevant results, extremely fast searches and a variety of specialty searches (Kraynak, 2005). You can perform either simple or advanced searches from Google’s main page, using the wildcards, modifiers, and Boolean operators.
Over the years, Yahoo has been transformed from a search directory into a more standard search engine. Search bots are responsible for 99% of the pages in the databases; however, yahoo also features a searchable directory of handpicked sites reviewed by its editors (Kraynak, 2005).
Automated Web Search
In particular, search services allow one to locate the following automatically: webpage that contain information about a particular topic; ‘web pages’ linked with a particular company or individual; and web pages that contain information about a specific brand or product (Corner, 2007).
Browsing versus Automated Searching
Although browsing can be enjoyable, the size of the internet makes it impossible to find specific information by searching one computer at a time; in fact, the continual growth of the internet makes such searches futile – new web pages appear faster than the human can browse through the information stored in them (Corner, 2007). According to Corner, to keep up with growth, automated searching is required, that is, one needs a computer program that can automatically contact other computers on the internet, search for a specified information, and report the results.
A Search Engine Helps Users Get Started
Automated searching is especially helpful when a user begins to explore a new topic; for more general topics, guessing URLs is hopeless, furthermore, the size and growth rate of the internet make it impossible to search through all web pages manually (Corner, 2007).
How a Web Search Appears to Users
To a user, web search mechanism appears straightforward; a user enters a topic, and after a short delay, the search engine responds with a list of web pages that contain the information about the topic, and after that the user can then explore each page on the list (Corner, 2007).
A user does not need a separate application program to perform a search; instead, search services are accessed through a browser. Each automated search has a website; a user who wants to perform a search begins by invoking a browser and specifying the URL of a search engine. The user’s browser contacts the site.
According to Corner, the web page for a search service usually contains three pieces of information; first, the page identifies the company and the service being offered; second, the page contains instructions that specify how to use the service; and third, the page provides a way for the user to enter a topic for the search.
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