It is a type of computer program that is used to search information in the website. The search engine uses a keyword to try and find the most relevant information on the public website across the internet. Most of the main engines generate what is called natural result of the search but sometime the owner of the search engine can modify the search to suit companies that advertise on their engines.
How search engine operates
Since search engines are met to search the web page they carry out two functions which ensure that they give the most relevant result.
They claw across the web from one webpage to another using the different links that direct it from one webpage to another and from website to the next. After it claws a page, it indexes it by comparing it relevant according to a certain keyword and other webpage from other website across the internet.
When a user search a certain keyword or keywords the engine checks it clawed and indexed pages and hence give the result back. Now you may ask, how then it determines what come on the first page and which comes last. It uses the popularity of the page either by the number of external link that links back to it or the number of users who are accessing the webpage. The engine assumes that if the page is references by many other website it relevant on that particular keyword. This is done by use of mathematical algorithm to calculate both the relevant and popularity of the webpage. From this the pages are index according to keywords and hence the list of results when you search for information.
Main search engines on the web
It is the biggest search engine on the internet today and it is the most used engine across the world. The google website is www.google.com but the company has customized some other to met the specific country search need and on their language. Examples include www.google.co.uk UK, www.google.co.tz Tanzania, www.google.com.mx Mexico etc.
How to use search engine
To search for any information on the internet using a search engine, first navigate to the search engine website. You can use the many available methods to do so or use the simplest which is to type the address of the home page of our preferred engine on the address space.
When you are on the home page of the engine type the keyword or the name that you want to search for and click on the search button. After that the result will be displayed depending on which website the engine decides is the most relevant per the word searched. The searched keyword can range from few characters to a paragraph or more.
To reduce the number of search result that is displayed try being more specific. i.e. instead of searching for keyword “computer” when you what to get information on super computer you can be more specific by using “super computer” or “latest super computer” and so on.
After searching and the results are displayed you can now review the results by reading the preview that comes together with result to determine is the results are worth or not. If they are you can click on the link of the webpage to view the full details of the page.
To further filter the results the user can use the following advanced methods:
Using quotation marks
The “” marks may not filter much but you can use them to specify the specific keyword that you need your search to return. i.e if one person search computer generation and another person search “computer” generation. In the latter case the user request for results that give not any generation document but those that have the keyword computer on it. This means the results are more specific that the first one even if they use same words.
Using define keyword
If you want to get the definition of a word you use the key word define and the engine will look the online definition of the word and they will be your top results. E.g. define computer to search for definition of a computer.
Using wildcard (*)
For advanced computer uses you know that wildcard is also used in database to retrieve data that has specific information before the wildcard and then anything else after it. The same case when using it in search engine, you need to search a certain keyword but you don’t remember the whole word so you opt to use wildcard. E.g. comp* it will search all keyword that have comp and any other character after that.
The keyword is used when you need to search the keyword that appears on the title of the web pages only. E.g. intitle: computer the result will give only the results that have the word computer on the title of the web page.
For more details about how to use advanced search on google click
What can you search?
The default search of most search engine is meant to search web pages. User can decide they want to search other details other that web pages. Other options offered (using Google case) include images, video, location using maps apps etc. to search for image for example click on the image and then search the results will be images following the keyword that you used.
Other than the search service that is offered by search engine companies most of them also offers free webmail, cloud computing services advertisement services and many more services.
Search engine have enabled internet user to enjoy the beauty of the internet and variety that is offered by different internet content provider like this page that you are reading now. The users are spoilt for choice and if a user don’t know what they are looking for then they can literally fall for bad or wrong information. This is because today anybody, even those who have no knowledge about a certain subject can create a website and write how they know and if you get fooled then you fall for wrong information.