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How Do Search Engines Work?

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Rebecca C

on 5 December 2013

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Transcript of How Do Search Engines Work?

How Do Search Engines Work?
Search Engines?
How many search engines can you name? Google? Bing? Yahoo? We are all very familiar with search engines- it is estimated that we use Google 5-15 times a day. But do we really all know the story and action behind search engines? Do we know how search engines work?
Types of Search Engines
There are mainly 3 types of search engines:
ones that are powered by robots (may also be called as crawlers, ants or spiders)
ones that are that are powered manually by humans
ones that are a mixture of the two

When you query a topic in a search engine, you are searching through the index (a giant database of information that is collected and stored) that the search engines has created. Different search engines will have different indices and algorithms to search through the indices. Sometimes, when you search something, the resulted website is a dead link. This because that the index hasn't been updated since the website changed or became unavailable. This is why search engines require constant updates and maintenance.
Human powered?
The name explains it all- human powered search engines are ones that rely entirely on humans to submit information that is well sorted and managed. This is a slower process as only information that is submitted is put into the index.
Key terms
spider trap:
a condition of dynamic Web sites in which a search engine’s spider becomes trapped in an endless loop of code.
search engine:
a program that searches documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found.
meta tag:
a special HTML tag that provides information about a Web page.
deep link:
a hyperlink either on a Web page or in the results of a search engine query to a page on a Web site other than the site’s home page.
a program that runs automatically without human intervention.
Crawler-based search engines are ones that use automated software agents. Crawlers visit a website, read the site's information, and then its meta tags. Crawlers also inspect the links that the site is connected to. After these actions, the crawler returns the information collected back to a central depository, where the data is sorted. The crawlers will regularly return to the sites to proceed inspections to see if anything is altered or removed.
Did you know?
Google records on average 34,000 searches per second, 2 million searches per minute; 121 million searches per hour and 3 billion searches per day
1,873,910,000,000 Google searches were conducted in the year of 2012
Most online surfers never click past the first page of search results (so true!!!)
YouTube market share is 39.4%
Daily visitors to Google is 620 million
Google began as a research project in 1996
93% of consumers worldwide use search engines to find and access websites
Full transcript