Search Engine- Easing the information gathering

September 10, 2017

It was about 71 years before Vannever Bush put forth his notion on hypertext and memory extension in real life in his book, ‘As We May Think’, which came as a publication of the Atlantic Monthly. Vannever’s essential point was to build a ‘body of knowledge for all mankind’. His intend was not just the creation of a storing firm. 

The added objective was to discern the consequences that result from rendering the existing sources to the human kind, in accordance with the search, and to know the way the mankind works with their abilities. This idea has propelled umpteen number of search engines to be created in the early 1990’s itself. A small number of them include Archie (1990), Veronica and Jughead (1991), Vlib (1992), Excite (1993), ALIWEB (1993), Web crawler (1994), Yahoo (1994),  Look Smart (1995), Google (1996), ASK (1997), MSN (1998), alltheweb (1999) and Bing (2009) etc.  Enhancements to the search engines were so frequent to bear the fast changing environment as well as the ever-changing markets, in addition to tolerating the web trend changes.

A few decades back, one is in need of the exact wordings that correspond to a website title to succeed in their task of searching. But, this situation has undergone a massive transformation in recent years.  All that a web surfer has to do is to furnish a phrase or keyword related to a specific topic of interest and the search engine responds by bringing out a plethora of great information from a myriad of sources. The search engine has caused a change in the way the information is gathered from World Wide Web (WWW), which serves as the primary source of knowledge all around the globe.  To accomplish the task of info gathering, the search engine indexes the WWW through a spider or web crawler.

The spider or the web crawler signifies a computing robot, which indulge in scanning and assessing the content on site pages and information archives. No two search engines operate with the same algorithm for determining the relevant web page, which pertain to a particular keyword, and for ranking the order of web page. For instance, consider the keyword ‘optimization’. The Wikipedia page of optimization assumes first rank, in case of the Google search engine. On the contrary, the Yahoo search engine renders a rank of 2 for the same word, owing to the change in the searching algorithm.

The real-time working nature of the search engine is a great boon to mankind, allowing any person with a query to acquire the desired information in just a single click. The interest over the search engines is getting increased at an alarming rate that they are indeed playing a crucial role in our day-to-day life.     The dependency over the search engines has grown immensely with the fact that the people are craving for the answers to their queries, in abundance. While taking a look on the current day search engines, they are found to readily offer the concept of personalization in search. With personalized search, the search results that make a match with the user’s interest are displayed. This is possible with the search engine tracking the user’s search history.  A personalized search makes use of date of birth, user name, browser cache and many more details as well. In all, the modern search engines can be viewed as an attractive unconceivable – complex algorithm, rendering more accurate return results for the user query.

Info search, via modern search engines, can be achieved through advanced search and vertical search. In case of advanced search, one is enabled to refine his/her queries to appeal for the files/pages of specific domain. Hence, the advanced search promotes a more refined form of search. In contrast, the vertical search aid in structuring the information index or limiting the search index to a more trusted or better structured collection of sources, documents, and information. Whatever the search kind may be, the users are rendered with a good number of benefits.

Meta search engines are search engines, inducing their search results from multiple other search engines, combining and re-ranking those results. This feature can aid the normal search engines, which are less savvy at crawling the web with unique index, to a greater extent. Yet, one of the superior problems associated with Meta search is that it tends to mix pay per click ads in their organic search results. As far as the user is concerned, the ad-free search results are obligatory at all times.

When the scale of application is considered, the search engine is found to grab a greater part. The applications, making use of the search engines, has broad categorizations based on three actualities: Informational, Transactional, and navigational. The Informational-Search engines provide static information about a topic for the knowledge seeker and it largely supports the students, who are engaged in research. In this sort of search engine, queries can be formulated for the answers of the research question and a decision could be made. The search engines have also laid its hand over the shopping community. Take for instance; if one’s desire is to purchase a bed, then he/she has to enter the shops one after the other to come at the conclusion of the least expensive and cosy bed in earlier days.   This situation has changed now, as one could purchase a required bed through analyzing the market prices of the bed that is made available at one click. The transactional search engine support this category of search engines.  The Navigational search engines allow the user to be directed to a specific URL based on their search, which seems more effective in banking and the applications of same sort.

The search engines render a great deal of alluring applications, in association with entertainment.  Movies, trailers, games, videos, social networking sites and similar other applications from the vast, additive and reliable resource, called internet, could be brought to doorstep with the aid of search engines.

Like search engines, the students who purse their Engineering under graduate program acquire in depth knowledge in the field of Engineering and Technology.

Dr. Vijaya

Dr. Vijaya Head, Academic Support Services

Waljat College of Applied Sciences

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