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Search Engine

A Search Engine is a PC program used to search for data. Search results are displayed as links on search engine results pages (SERPs), which can be used to get the information you want.

In order to establish the relevance of a query for the existing data in the index, today's search engines work with sophisticated algorithms.

How does it work

The job of a seeker is comparable to that of a librarian. However, unlike a library, a search engine stores items from the web, but usually only provides a hyperlink to the content you are looking for and not to the content itself.

Before a search engine can return results, it first creates an index. All the data of the web pages is stored there, such as the age or the number of links.

Data collection using bots

The data for the search engine index is collected by a bot. This is a separate script or program that automatically scans the web for content and stores the data found on a server. The bot follows the hyperlinks on the websites you visit.

Segmentation and categorization of data

All relevant data for a website is categorized and segmented. When a user enters a search query, the search engine uses algorithms to establish which items in your index are most relevant to this search. The algorithms used form the ranking criteria for placing websites in search results.

Application areas

A search engine can be used for several purposes. In the scientific field, search engines are used in research. In the private sector, users usually look for up-to-date information on events or products they are looking to buy online. Search engines can also serve other purposes. These include browsing or searching for images and other means.

Alternatives to searching in the Google search engine

While Google is at the moment the leading provider of search engines in the world, there are other providers that stand out as an alternative to Google search. Some of them have features that Google does not offer or are specifically popular due to its strict privacy regulations.

  • Bing: Microsoft's group search engine offers search results similar to Google's and looks equivalent, but offers some cool additional features, including playing videos in the search thumbnail preview of videos. This allows users to see what is shown in the video before clicking. At the same time, the BingTranslate translation program can be launched directly in another tab on A separate search box can be used to get information about the current weather. Another advantage of Bing is that similar searches are placed next to the input field.
  • Yahoo!: The home page, unlike Google and Bing, has the character of a news portal. A special feature of the search engine is the special search for stars.
  • DuckDuckGo: The Internet search engine DuckDuckGo is committed to do not store user data or IP addresses. If you are looking for even more data security, you can do your search with DuckDuckGo using the Tor network. The search engine will classify your search results into categories of ambiguous terms, which is very useful. At the same time, DuckDuckGo provides links to appropriate recipes when introducing foods. Another special feature is that answers are provided to user questions. All the features of the OpenSource project are developed by a broad community of programmers, constantly improving DuckDuckGo search results.

Image search engines

At the same time of high relevance for the search query, image search engines are characterized by the fact that search results can be accurately filtered. At the same time, the sources of the displayed images are displayed. Each image search typically has a child protection filter.

  • Google Images Search Google Image Search: With more than 10 billion images, Google Image Search is one of the largest collections of data for images supported on the web. Using numerous filter options, the search result can be precisely defined. At the same time, Google offers the option to search for images using an upload function. You can upload an image from your PC for this purpose or upload the link to the appropriate image source. At the same time, you can enter information about the content of the image in the search bar. In this way, Google Image Search is a great tool to check if the content of the images is used illegally on other websites.
  • Bing Image Search: The Bing image search engine is characterized by its good usability. After entering the search term, you get a clear view of the image sources. Hovering over an image will reveal more information, such as the size and origin of the image. Viewing related search results and filter function can help narrow your search results. To protect young users, the offensive content filter is set to "strict".
  • Yahoo Image Search: If you need to access the great image resources of the Flickr service as part of your image search, this search engine would be the most suitable. At the same time from the images of professional photographers, you can also discover snapshots of private users. If not, the Flickr search function can be used alternatively.

Search engines for students

Scientifically oriented search engines or student search engines usually differ from frequent web search by the fact that the results refer to posts, dissertations or other publications. Important for university research are university library catalogs called OPACs.

  • Metager *: The University of Hannover data center metasearch engine offers many different configuration options for refining search results. This search engine is well equipped for accurate search, as Metager provides more results at the same time than the usual Google search engines.
  • Base: With this search engine organized by Bielefeld University, you can search the web for scientifically relevant posts. The advantage of this is that both libraries and digital attachments are displayed.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica]: Can be searched in the Encyclopedia Britannica. The index is limited to the content of this encyclopedia.
  • Google Scholar: This search engine is recommended if you are looking for scientific essays, but also want to take a look at a book. Along with the scanned pages of the books, Google Scholar also provides information about the location of the books and links to purchase opportunities. Google Scholar is highly recommended for writing scientific posts and researching secondary literature. Users with a valid Google account can also save search results and books.

Search engines for kids

A search engine for children is intended to allow children to search the web for age-appropriate content without content that may be harmful to them.

  • fragFinn: Kids can use the Finn mascot to search the web for content that suits them. At the same time, the search engine offers additional functions such as URL checking, which allows parents to check whether the websites are suitable for children. Next to the search bar is a red alarm button. Users can report sites that do not meet search engine criteria.
  • BlindeKuh: This search engine only offers child-friendly search results from its own index. The age for which the content is appropriate is indicated with each search result. At the same time, the country of origin of the entry and the language in which it is enabled are also indicated.

Both projects are not funded through trade promotion like many other kid-friendly web search engines.

Search engines that no longer exist

In the late 1990s, the search engine market was even more diverse. Despite everything, many of the search engines that existed and were partially popular at the time, have been discontinued or merged with other companies. These include: Altavista, Fireball, Inktomi, Infoseek, and Excite