Web search engines

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.
Related to Web search engines: Web browsers

Web search engines

A website that maintains an index and short summaries of billions of pages on the Web, Google being the world's largest. Most search engine sites are free and paid for by ads. Yahoo was the first search engine to gain worldwide attention, and it initially indexed most of its content manually, creating a hierarchical directory that was put together by human observation. It was known then as a "directory" rather than a "search engine." However, as Web content grew exponentially, it became impossible to index everything manually.

Web Spiders
Most indexing is done automatically by Web "spiders," which are programs that "crawl" the Web around the clock looking for all the pages they can find. By following the links from one page to another, they scour billions of pages and summarize them in massive databases, which is what you query when you do a search.

"Metasearch" engines search other search engines and bring you results as if you went to each of them independently (see below).

The Deep Web
An enormous amount of content that websites offer resides in databases that are not exposed to the search engines like ordinary HTML pages with links to each other. This "deep Web," which is thousands of times larger than the public Web is accessible from the site itself and may require membership or a paid subscription.

The Portal
Many search engine sites evolved into a portal. Instead of offering content only from other websites, they have their own content and features such as free email, chat rooms and shopping. For information about all major search engines, visit www.searchenginewatch.com. See portal, Web white pages, Web yellow pages and information broker.

Search Engine Sites

Following are popular sites for searching any topic. If you do not find what you want at one site, try another, even if you use a metasearch engine. Spiders do not always find the same information at the same time.









  www.about.com           directory

  www.suite101.com        directory

  www.yahoo.com           directory

  www.dogpile.com         metasearch

  www.mamma.com           metasearch

  www.search.com          metasearch

  www.yippy.com           metasearch

  www.wolframalpha.com    computational
References in periodicals archive ?
Without further qualification, search engine usually refers to a Web search engine, which searches for information on the public Web.
Web Search Engine (parts 1, 2, and 3) ," "Draw and Tell: Children as Designers of Web Interfaces," and "Differences and Similarities in Information Seeking: Children and Adults as Web Users.
goes into battle with the Great God Google for leadership of the Web search engine field, the need for positive differentiation of its service has turned Yahoo
He developed The Extreme Searcher's Guide to Web Search Engines from the courses he teaches to "help the researcher achieve acceptable search results in terms of being able to find an adequate number of appropriately relevant documents.
USGOVSEARCH was the result of a partnership between the Web search engine Northern Light and the Commerce Department's National Technical Information Service (NTIS).
The introductory chapter focuses on the history and structure of Web search engines.
2 can automatically and dynamically optimize its visibility on leading Web search engines.
The research that explores such issues as the organization of the Web or Web searching trends is becoming more important for users and Web search engines alike.
Dow Jones Interactive Publishing, and Knight-Ridder Information (KRI), will compare search results from these two premier online services with search results from Web search engines.
Designed to create optimal interactions between the Endeca Information Access Platform (IAP) and popular Web search engines like Google, Yahoo
It also shows how templates are used for information retrieval purposes in major Web search engines like AltaVista (http:// www.