Search engine

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Web Science[1]

A search engine is an information retrieval system designed to help find information stored on a computer system. The search results are usually presented in a list and are commonly called hits. Search engines help to minimize the time required to find information and the amount of information which must be consulted.[2]

In the context of web science, a search engine is:

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 mine data available in databases or open directories. Unlike web directories, which are maintained only by human editors, search engines also maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.[3]

Superb Video about how search works[edit]

Do you understand this?[edit]

Please click here for a page where you can reflect on your understanding and engage in discussion with other students.


  • Define the term search engine