Web search engines

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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. China's Baidu, Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo! follow in size.

Most search engine sites are free and paid for by ads. Yahoo! was the first to gain worldwide attention. Yahoo! was originally known as a "directory" rather than a search engine, because it indexed much of its content by human observation. However, as Web content grew exponentially, it became impossible to index everything manually.

Web Spiders, Bots and Crawlers
Most indexing is done automatically by Web "spiders" or "bots," 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. This "deep Web," which is much larger than the public Web is accessible only from the website, which 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. 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.aol.com (portal)


  www.baidu.com (Chinese)







  www.yahoo.com (portal)

  www.mamma.com (coupons)

  www.dogpile.com (metasearch)

  www.search.com (metasearch)

  www.wolframalpha.com (computational)
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References in periodicals archive ?
What informs undergraduates' preference either for web search engines or reference sources in the university library for research activities?
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OCLC has partnered with Yahoo, MSN, and Google in the Open WorldCat project, which will make over 50 million library catalog records from OCLC's WorldCat union catalog records searchable via Web search engines. OCLC also provides the means to link from a retrieved book reference to the Web searcher's local library (Mattison, 2005).
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Students can use this integrated research tool to locate the best available resources from multiple sources, including library catalogs, proprietary databases, intranets, Web sites and Web search engines. The software evaluates, ranks and reports the most relevant results from such sources and allows students to clip and save text and images with citation information.