We were talking a lot about search engines on this blog but never really explained what exactly are they. Recently i received an email by one of the readers asking what is search engine so i decided to write a short post on the subject.
By definition: “Search engines are applications that search data structures for specific content or data types.”
That can be online search engines like Google, but also local search engines like the search bar. These can be opened in documents and programs with the key combination [Ctrl] + [F].
A search engine crawls a given data complex according to criteria that you specify in advance. The most common criterion is a simple search term.
In some search engines, you can extend these criteria – for example, scientific search engines allow you to link your search terms with operators such as [AND] or [OR].
Online search engines like Google make it easier for you to search by selecting in advance which types of data you’re looking for: By default, you can limit your search to images or videos, for example.
Google is just one of many search engines that allow you to search the Internet even though it has become a synonym for search engine.
It is the most popular and widely used online search engine.
Bing: Although with a huge distance to Google, Bing is the second most used search engine. Bing is the search service from Microsoft and works by default in Internet Explorer and on Windows Phones.
Yahoo: Another popular search engine is Yahoo. The search engine is operated by the same name Yahoo group and uses the same search algorithm as
Alternative search engines: If you do not want to reveal your search queries to Google or Microsoft, you can use alternative search engines. The search engine DuckDuckGo is widely used if you wish to keep your online more private.