Simply put: What is a search engine?

A search engine is a utility program used to locate information on the web. Search engines, however, give different results. An post later this week will clarify/explain why search engines give different results.

You do not search the web using a search engine

A search engine finds information by using a self-created bot: Bots are unique to every search engine. Bots create an inverted index with all the information they find. Thus, you search the bot’s representation of the web, not the actual web. This explains why you cannot carry out a lot of real time search.

  • Bots need to read a blog first (crawl it)
  • Store its content by identifying keywords (creating an inverted index)
  • which can be searched by the searcher (thus searching the bots representation of the web)

Search engine factors when searching

IP addresses determine locational searches. Cookies, internet browsers and user accounts, on the other hand, lead to personalisation of results on the web. This means that you are not searching the bot’s representation of the web, you are searching a smaller section that the search engine has created for you, your likes, interests and past searches.

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