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Searching the web. TABLE OF CONTENTS. Page(s) 1-4 Description and explanation of search engines on the web. Table 1 Engine Comparison Chart - describes methods that are beneficial for successful retrieval of information from the web.

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Presentation Transcript
table of contents
  • Page(s) 1-4 Description and explanation of search engines on the web.
  • Table 1 Engine Comparison Chart - describes methods that are beneficial for successful retrieval of information from the web.
  • Table 2 -Methods various search engines use to gather and format information for their databases.
  • Description of some of the more popular search engines on the web today.
  • Guidelines for the best search engine for your information needs.
Search Engines have evolved into a dynamic and powerful means of gathering sorting and selecting a wide range of information that would not otherwise be accessible to the general public. Today there are hundred of search engines, also called ‘web location services’, vying for a competitive edge on the market. These search engines have made the gathering and retrieval of information very simple for the user. Everyone who has had contact with the Internet have encountered, used or heard about search engine. Some claimed that ‘search engines’ have put a great amount of power in the hands of the user free of cost but others question whether all this abundant information actually comes with a price.
The creation of the search engine can be accredited to Allen Emtage, a grad student, who wrote a program that ‘automatically searched for keywords appearing in archives coded in File Transfer Protocol (FTP, the language created to send net files). He later released this program in 1989 which he called ‘Archie”. Other search tools such as Veronica and Wide Area Internet Services (WAIS) were later created. These search tools basically gathered general keywords describing the topic you inputted and the sources where these tools should look. They then were able to best match the criteria by looking into the index and counting how many times each item contained the selected keywords. Unfortunately, Emtage did not file a patent application and presently a Anchover Mass. Company has claimed patent rights and are presently disputing patent infringement rights of other search tools companies. The battle continues but that does not prevent the scores of new search engines from being created very day.
Today we are bombarded with hundred of search tools crawling the Internet. In order to access information on any search engine, you must type in a keyword. Then the search engine takes the keyword(s) and search for documents that have the keyword(s) requested. The amount of returns of keyword(s) found in the documents will determine which documents to chose. A search engine usually displays the results page by page. There usually thousands of documents on the Web that seems to relate to an inquiry. As it is impossible to look through so many documents, it is best to confine your enquiry to a particular topic in order to achieve satisfactory results. In order to find what you need from a search engine it is best to analyze your information needs, create queries and select appropriate search strategies. Depending on your specificity to a particular topic, it is best if you have a distinct idea of what you are searching for.
There are tricks and pitfalls in search engines that a user should be aware of. Due to the increasingly competitive nature of the World Wide Web, site owners have take drastic steps to ensure that their sites are seen as many people as possible. Usually Corporations and Businesses try to attract potential customers by using tricks to guarantee that their sites are seen. A key feature of this type of practice is “keyword spamming”. Keyword spamming is the use of multiple keywords in documents to ensure that their sites are placed on the top of the hit list. Another method is the use of hidden text. Black text is hidden against a black background in web pages to ensure that it gets at the top of the list. Also some site owners just simply pay the search engines to place their sites at the top. The abuse of keywords and other aggressive means are only a few of the techniques used to ensure popularity.
These questionable practices are now being employed as it guarantees popular hits. This does not guarantee however that these sites are indeed the best ones but in order for a user to effectively benefit from the information on the web, he needs to know what to look for and what to discard. Search engines are vast in numbers and it is best to use well thought out keywords and prior knowledge of exactly where to search for the information. The primary purpose of most search engines to get as many visitors to the sites listed as possible. Many web sites are caught up in the grand idea of getting as many hits as possible and they fail to realize that in order to maintain the optimum quality of service possible they must provide quality information.
slide8 provided excellent ideas to improve and design your site to best suite the general needs of the user. One suggestion was using a ‘follow the leader’ method’ when selecting keywords and page wording. Meta tags in the source codes of the sites control keywords in search engines and the right keywords are the backbone for receiving popularity for a site. Knowledge of the keyword of competitors and improving and maintaining quality information is the next step to maintaining a popular ranking on a search engine This is by no means similar to ‘keyword spamming’ as proper selection of keywords will enable a site to maintain popularity.
There are different types of web resources that can help you to find the answers to your questions:

Subject tree:

A subject tree is a hierarchically organized category of topics with lists of web sites and online documents relevant to each topic. Also called directories.


A collection of Websites and online documents about a specific topic. Clearinghouses are similar to subject trees but on a larger scale

General search engine:

Indexes a large collection of web pages that users retrieve by entering keywords. General search engines rely heavily on web spiders to do most of the sorting and gathering. These databases are huge and sometimes the relevant information may be hidden deep in the list. Providing specific and relevant keywords to your search is idea in order to retrieve information

Specialized search engines

Similar to general search engine but is limited to specific web pages. Takes the concept of the clearinghouse but does more than just provide links to the documents. The specialized search engine provides the actual documents. These are handpicked that a user has selected as relevant to the topic.

The best search engines offer a simply query option where you type full sentences or question that describe your information needs. The engine with the most pages in the database is not necessarily the best search engine. The chart attached indicates the best search engines to date even though this is always subjected to change. There are many types of search engines ranging from general information to specialized information. The compilation of databases of documents and indexing of these documents provide users with on the spot result if queries are successful.

Again, there are hundreds of search engines that specialize in different levels of searches. By using web spiders, search engines create and update their document databases automatically. A web spider is a computer program that searches for Web pages and collects, update, replace and renew old pages or find new web pages. This program keeps a list of all the Uniform Resource Locator’s (URL) and returns all the information to the search engine. There are numerous techniques used to index these documents and large search engines constantly run Web Spiders to index as much information as possible of the Web. There are many things on the Internet that are legitimate but quite a bit of the information found is also very unreliable. Therefore, it is best to be critical of some of the information received. The bottom line however is that in order to get satisfaction from search engine, users must be aware of the nature of their query.

p engines

choose the best search for your information needs
Choose the Best Search for Your Information Needs
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