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Encyclopedia > Search engine

A search engine is an information retrieval system designed to help find information stored on a computer system. Search engines help to minimize the time required to find information and the amount of information which must be consulted, akin to other techniques for managing information overload. Information retrieval (IR) is the science of searching for information in documents, searching for documents themselves, searching for metadata which describe documents, or searching within databases, whether relational stand-alone databases or hypertextually-networked databases such as the World Wide Web. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Information overload (aka information flood) is a term that is usually used in conjunction with various forms of Computer-mediated communication such as Electronic mail. ...

The most public, visible form of a search engine is a Web search engine which searches for information on the World Wide Web. Google search is the worlds most popular search engine. ... WWWs historical logo designed by Robert Cailliau The World Wide Web (commonly shortened to the Web) is a system of interlinked, hypertext documents accessed via the Internet. ...

How search engines work

Main article: Web search engine

Search engines provide an interface to a group of items that enables users to specify criteria about an item of interest and have the engine find the matching items. The criteria are referred to as a search query. In the case of text search engines, the search query is typically expressed as a set of words that identify the desired concept that one or more documents may contain.[1] Google search is the worlds most popular search engine. ... An interface defines the communication boundary between two entities, such as a piece of software, a hardware device, or a user. ... A web search query is a query that a user enters into web search engine to satisfy his or her information needs. ... For other uses, see Concept (disambiguation). ... For the similarly-named Surrealist journal, see Documents (journal). ...

There are several styles of search query syntax that vary in strictness. Where as some text search engines require users to enter two or three words separated by white space, other search engines may enable users to specify entire documents, pictures, sounds, and various forms of natural language. Some search engines apply improvements to search queries to increase the likelihood of providing a quality set of items through a process known as query expansion. For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see white space. ... The term natural language is used to distinguish languages spoken and signed (by hand signals and facial expressions) by humans for general-purpose communication from constructs such as writing, computer-programming languages or the languages used in the study of formal logic, especially mathematical logic. ... Query expansion (QE) is the process of reformulating a seed query to improve retrieval performance in information retrieval operations. ...

index-based search engine
index-based search engine

The list of items that meet the criteria specified by the query is typically sorted, or ranked, in some regard so as to place the most relevant items first. Ranking items by relevance (from highest to lowest) reduces the time required to find the desired information. Probabilistic search engines rank items based on measures of similarity and sometimes popularity or authority. Boolean search engines typically only return items which match exactly without regard to order. Image File history File links Search-engine-diagram-en. ... Image File history File links Search-engine-diagram-en. ... Look up relevant in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Probability is the likelihood that something is the case or will happen. ... Look up similarity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up popularity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about authority as a concept. ... For use in mathematics, see Boolean algebra (structure). ...

To provide a set of matching items quickly, a search engine will typically collect metadata about the group of items under consideration beforehand through a process referred to as indexing. The index typically requires a smaller amount of computer storage, and provides a basis for the search engine to calculate item relevance. The search engine may store of copy of each item in a cache so that users can see the state of the item at the time it was indexed or for archive purposes or to make repetitive processes work more efficiently and quickly. Metadata is data about data. ... Search engine indexing entails how data is collected, parsed, and stored to facilitate fast and accurate retrieval. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see cache (disambiguation). ...

Notably, some search engines do not store an index. Crawler, or spider type search engines may collect and assess items at the time of the search query. Meta search engines simply reuse the index or results of one or more other search engines. A meta-search engine is a search engine that sends user requests to several other search engines and/or databases and returns the results from each one. ...

See also

(The entries are in alphabetical order within each category. ... Automatic summarization is the creation of a shortened version of a text by a computer program. ... A bibliographic or library database is a database of bibliographic information. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Federated Search is an emerging feature of automated, web based library and information retrieval systems. ... Result page of image search planet earth on Picsearch. ... An inverted index is an index structure storing a mapping from words to their locations in a document or a set of documents, giving full text search. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Semantic Search attempts to augment and improve traditional Research Searches by leveraging XML and RDF data from semantic networks to disambiguate semantic search queries and web text in order to increase relevancy of results. ... Search engine indexing entails how data is collected, parsed, and stored to facilitate fast and accurate retrieval. ... Text mining, sometimes alternately referred to as text data mining, refers generally to the process of deriving high quality information from text. ... A meta-search engine is a search engine that sends user requests to several other search engines and/or databases and returns the results from each one. ... A typical search results page Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via natural (organic or algorithmic) search results. ... Spamdexing or search engine spamming is the practice of deliberately creating web pages which will be indexed by search engines in order to increase the chance of a website or page being placed close to the beginning of search engine results, or to influence the category to which the page... A human search engine is a search engine that utilizes human participation to filter the search results and assist users in clarifying their search request. ... A video search engine is a web-based search engine which crawls the web for video content. ...


  1. ^ Voorhees, E.M. Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval. National Institute of Standards and Technology. March 2000.

  Results from FactBites:
Lodgings, Hotel Reservations, Accommodation Guide - Accommodation Search Engine. (177 words)
The Accommodation Search Engine has been on-line since 1995 and lists over 150,000 hotels, motels, inns, Bed and Breakfasts and holiday rental properties.
Accommodation Search Engine: The best way to search for hotels, motels, inns, B & Bs and holiday rental accommodation anywhere in the world.
Since 1995 ASE has allowed all accommodation owners to submit their properties to the search, making the Accommodation Search Engine the most comprehensive listing of hotels and lodgings on the Internet.
Search engine optimization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3500 words)
In some early search engines, such as Infoseek, ranking first was as easy as grabbing the source code of the top-ranked page, placing it on your website, and submitting a URL to instantly index and rank that page.
Search engine crawlers may look at a number of different factors when crawling a site, and many pages from a site may not be indexed by the search engines until they gain more pagerank or links or traffic.
Because search engines are text-centric, many of the same methods that are useful for web accessibility are also advantageous for SEO.
  More results at FactBites »



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