Computer Support.

What is a Search Engine?

Finding information on the World Wide Web had been a difficult and frustrating task, but became much more usable with breakthroughs in search engine technology in the late 1990s. History if interested is Here

A web search engine is a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs). The information may be a mix of web pages, images, and other types of files.

Some search engines also drill down for data available in databases or open directories.

Search engines are programs that search documents for specified keywords and return a list of the documents where the keywords were found. A search engine is really a general class of programs; however, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Google, Bing and Yahoo! Search that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web.

Typically, web search engines work by sending out a spider (feelers) to fetch as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document. Each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to create its indices such that, ideally, only meaningful results are returned for each query.

Access Search Engines by entering the web Address below called a URL

Google then use

Bing then use

Yahoo then use

Google Books Google Books contains millions of books scanned into electronic form then use

There are many more Search Engines

How to use programs that search the internet and narrow your results.

It is possible to think of the internet as the world's biggest library - but instead of books, its shelves contain billions of individual web pages.

Imagine being in such a vast library. It would take forever to find what you were looking for!

Every library has an index to help you track down the book you want. The internet has something similar in the form of 'search engines'.

Search engines are special websites that have indexed billions of pages - and make it easy for you to find a website or page in an instant. Popular search engines include Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask.

To get to a search engine you just need to go to your browser's address bar and type in the address of the search engine website, or you can use the search box that's usually found in the top right-hand corner of a browser.

Each search engine works in a similar way. If you go to a search engine's homepage, you'll find a single box. You simply type whatever you want to search for into that box.

If you wanted to search for days out in London, you could type London days out into the search box and then either press 'Enter', or click on 'Search' or the search symbol (which can be a magnifying glass).

You'll get a list of the most popular web pages that contain the words you typed in.

You could search again using more key words. So instead of just London days out, you could add the word kids. Now your search results should give you pages relating to days out in London that kids might enjoy.

You can keep on adding more key words to narrow down your search results further.

If you wanted to exclude certain pages from your search, you could use the minus operator (-sign).

Therefore, if you only wanted to find indoor attractions, you could add -outdoor to your entry in the search box. This would filter out any results that mention 'outdoor' on their web page.

Another useful trick is to add quote marks around more than one word so they are searched for as one term, rather than each word separately.

For example, searching for tourist attractions would mean that the search engine looks for any page that contains the word 'tourist' and contains the word 'attractions' - which could be a site for people who are attracted to tourists!

By putting quote marks around the words - to make it "tourist attractions" - the search will only look for pages with these words next to each other, as one term.

Be aware

You can search for all sorts of information using a search engine - holidays, videos, news articles, music, pictures, and map. The possibilities are endless!

But it's important to remember that search engines are a bit like robots - they don't check the truthfulness or the reliability of the information they find.

Also, it's possible for companies to pay the owners of search engines for their pages to appear at the top of searches or as adverts called 'sponsored links' (these typically appear at the top and down the right-hand side of the search results).

So, just be aware that not all search results are based on the popularity of a site.