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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.
 
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 — 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at the time of the [[search]], but is only searching the search engine's [[database]], which may be days or weeks out of date at any given point in time.
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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 — 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]].
   
 
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.
 
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.

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