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Searching the Internet
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Finding Information on the Internet
For most of my general purpose searches on the Internet, I use the Google Search Engine. Google is great! I consider it the best all around search engine out there. To perform a relatively exhaustive search, I use software called Copernic to perform a meta-search (i.e. a search involving many different search engines at once). To learn how search engines work, click here. For a list of search engines, click here.
Where to Find Answers to Your Questions
Once you have completed your search on the Internet and found that bit of information that seems most pertinent to what you are looking for, you need to continue to be critical of what you have found. Check the validity and reliablity of the information. There are a lot of opinions and missinformation out there. Anyone can post information on the Internet (look at me for example), so you must be critical of what you read. Look at the source of the information (e.g. health information from government sites tends to be more reliable than that from a personal web page). Is the information up to date and accurate. And lastly, ask yourself if what you read challenges your common sense? Always be CRITICAL of what you read!
Understanding the Search Tools
The Search Engine Watch - Tips and Comparisons
Search Engines Work
The term "search engine" is often used generically to describe both crawler-based search engines and human-powered directories. These two types of search engines gather their listings in radically different ways.
Crawler-Based Search Engines
If you change your web pages, crawler-based search engines eventually find these changes, and that can affect how you are listed. Page titles, body copy and other elements all play a role.
Changing your web pages has no effect on your listing. Things that are useful for improving a listing with a search engine have nothing to do with improving a listing in a directory. The only exception is that a good site, with good content, might be more likely to get reviewed for free than a poor site.
"Hybrid Search Engines" Or Mixed Results
The Parts Of A Crawler-Based Search Engine
Everything the spider finds goes into the second part of the search engine, the index. The index, sometimes called the catalog, is like a giant book containing a copy of every web page that the spider finds. If a web page changes, then this book is updated with new information.
Sometimes it can take a while for new pages or changes that the spider finds to be added to the index. Thus, a web page may have been "spidered" but not yet "indexed." Until it is indexed -- added to the index -- it is not available to those searching with the search engine.
Search engine software is the third part of a search engine.
This is the program that sifts through the millions of pages recorded in
the index to find matches to a search and rank them in order of what it
believes is most relevant.