15. Using Search Engines
Page 2 - All About Search Engines
All About Search Engines
What exactly is a search engine? How does it work? Where do I find one? How much does it cost? What features are included? How fast does it go?
These are all good questions...but, a search engine is not a piece of machinery...it's a piece of software. The search engine is a program that exists on an Internet server. It is used to search a HUGE database of web pages for a specific string of text. When it finds this string, it displays a summary of that page, along with summaries from other pages that had the text string. Here are the answers to the above questions. This will help you to understand more about search engines.
What exactly is a search engine?
A search engine is an Internet program that searches a database for specific information. This database contains information about web pages that have been added to it. When it finds the requested infromation in its database, it adds it to a list of web pages that will be displayed when the search is finished. Most search engines allow you to specify how many pages, or rather links to pages, to display at a time. Along with the links, most engines also include a short summary of the page, to help you decide if that was what you were looking for.
How does it work?
The search engine searches a database of web pages, using a server script or program. Most search engines use a CGI script. More information about CGI scripts is available in Tutorial 17-D. Most search engines have a feature that allows you to add your web page to its database. This is a good way to increase traffic to your web site.
Where do I find one?
The Internet contains over 200 search engines. Go to the Search page for a list of the most popular search engines, as well as Yahoo's list of search engines.
How much does it cost?
All of the search engines linked to from this site are
FREE! Very few search engines will cost anything...most are free. Those that aren't are usually part of a site, and allow you to search through archives of files or information on that site.
What features does it come with?
Various search engines have various features. Most search engines give you many different options, although they will not come with air conditioning or a cd player. Check out the list on the Search page.
How fast does it go?
Most search engines are very fast. In fact, they are as fast as any web page&emdash;they will load in the same amount of time.
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