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A traditional '''search engine''' is a [[software application]] that examines as many pages as possible on [[website]]s, compiling a list of the location of each word on each page. The search engine then create a full-text index of the [[Internet]].
== Definitions ==
 
   
 
A search engine starts with a list of one or more [[website]]s. The engine then requests the [[home page]] from each [[website|site]] on its list. When a [[home page]] is retrieved that has [[link]]s to yet other pages, the search engine requests a copy of each of those pages that these [[link]]s point to. And if those pages in turn contain [[link]]s to yet more pages, the search [[software]] requests a copy of those pages. And so on, day after day, ceaselessly.
{{Quote|A '''search engine''' will find all [[web page]]s on the [[Internet]] with a particular word or phrase. Given the current state of search engine technology, that [[search]] will often produce a list of hundreds of [[web site]]s through which the [[user]] must sort in order to find what he or she is looking for.<ref>[[Sporty's Farm v. Sportsman's Market|Sporty’s Farm L.L.C. v. Sportsman’s Market, Inc.]], 202 F.3d 489, 493, 53 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1570 (2d Cir. 2000) ([http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=5242446295316298886&q=202+F.3d+489&hl=en&as_sdt=2002 full-text]).</ref>}}
 
   
 
At its most basic level, a search engine maintains a list, for every word, of all known [[Web page]]s containing that word. The collection of lists is known as an "index." Search engines vary according to the size of the index, the frequency of updating the index, the search options, the speed of returning a result, the relevancy of the results, and the overall ease of use. No two search engines work the same way.
'''Internet search engines''' "index [[third-party]] [[web content]] and dynamically return relevant [[search results]] in response to [[user]]-entered [[search term]]s."<ref>Carter v. Oath Holdings, Inc., 2018 WL 3067985, at *1 (N.D.Cal. June 21, 2018).</ref>
 
   
 
In practice, most search engines do not exhaustively cover all possible [[website]]s. In addition, some search engines pass along material for review by human editors, who rate the pages retrieved on a variety of scales &mdash; quality, appropriateness for families, and so on. The creation of such an annotated index obviously takes longer than it does to create a comparable unannotated index. Search engines are the primary means by which [[Internet user]]s can find [[digital]] [[information]].
== How it works ==
 
 
A search engine starts with a list of one or more [[website]]s. The engine then requests the [[home page]] from each [[website|site]] on its list. When a [[home page]] is retrieved that has [[link]]s to yet other pages, the search engine requests a copy of each of those [[page]]s that these [[link]]s point to. And if those [[page]]s in turn contain [[link]]s to yet more [[page]]s, the search [[software]] requests a [[copy]] of those [[page]]s. And so on, day after day, ceaselessly.
 
 
At its most basic level, a search engine maintains a list, for every word, of all known [[Web page]]s containing that word. The collection of lists is known as an "[[keyword]] index." Search engines vary according to the size of the index, the frequency of updating the index, the search options, the speed of returning a result, the relevancy of the results, and the overall ease of use. No two search engines work the same way.
 
 
In practice, most search engines do not exhaustively cover all possible [[website]]s. In addition, some search engines pass along material for review by human editors, who rate the pages retrieved on a variety of scales &mdash; quality, appropriateness for families, and so on. The creation of such an annotated index obviously takes longer than it does to create a comparable unannotated index. Search engines are the primary means by which [[Internet user]]s can find [[digital]] [[information]]. However, it must be remembered that a search engine is NOT searching the [[Internet]] as it exists at the time of the [[search]], but is only searching the search engine's [[database]], which may be days or weeks out of date at any given point in time.
 
 
Search engines regularly return to the [[web page]]s they have indexed to look for changes. When changes occur, the [[database]] is updated to reflect the new [[information]]. However, the process of updating can take a while, depending upon how often the search engine makes it rounds and then, how promptly the [[information]] it gathers is added to the [[database]]. Until a [[page]] has been both [[spider]]ed and indexed, the new [[information]] will not be available. Thus, the more often a search engine checks for changes, the more accurate its [[search results]] will be.
 
 
The [[accuracy]] of [[search results]] is directly proportional to how many [[web page]]s the search engine indexes. The more [[web page]]s the search engine indexes, the more [[accurate]] and complete will be the [[search results]]. The [[accuracy]] of the [[search results]] also depends on how often the search engine indexes [[web page]]s. The more often the search engine indexes the [[web page]]s, the more [[accurate]] the [[search results]] will be.
 
   
 
A recent area of development is search engines that are specifically designed to build [[profile]]s of individuals based on [[personal data]] found on the [[Internet]].
 
A recent area of development is search engines that are specifically designed to build [[profile]]s of individuals based on [[personal data]] found on the [[Internet]].
   
== References ==
 
<references />
 
 
== See also ==
 
 
<div style="column-count:2;-moz-column-count:2;">
 
 
* [[Full-text search]]
 
* [[Image search engine]]
 
* [[Search agent]]
 
* [[Search engine marketing]]
 
* [[Search engine optimization]]
 
* [[Search engine ranking]]
 
* [[Search-engine result]]
 
* [[Search engine results page]]
 
* [[Search engine spam]]
 
* [[Search engine spider]]
 
* [[Search engine submission]]
 
* [[Search result]]
 
* [[Search results]]
 
* [[Search service]]
 
* [[Search term]]
 
 
</div>
 
 
[[Category:Software]]
 
[[Category:Software]]
 
[[Category:Internet]]
 
[[Category:Internet]]
[[Category:Search]]
 
[[Category:Definition]]
 

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