Internet Fundamentals/Search Engines

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A web search engine is a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web.[1] This lesson introduces search engines.

Objectives and Skills[edit]

Objectives and skills for this lesson include:[2][3][4]

  • Use different types of Web search engines effectively.
  • Search the Internet
    • Review organisational guidelines on Internet access
    • Open Internet application and locate and access a search engine on the Internet, and define search expressions based on data required
    • Enter appropriate key words into the search engine to locate desired information
    • Refine a search depending on outcomes of original search
    • Save search expression results and present them in a report according to information requirements
    • Create a bookmark within the Internet browser or a link for the required web page for the key results
    • Save key results in a bookmark folder
    • Modify Internet browser options for printing and print a web page
    • Close Internet browser
  • Conduct an advanced search
    • Use search tools and advanced search features
    • Use Boolean search techniques when required to enhance the search
    • Use multiple or meta-search tools with a range of key words
    • Use search engines particular to a field of knowledge to refine the outcome
    • Access related virtual community sites and newsgroups, and note their objectives and operational arrangements
    • Conduct a search with domain names to refine the search
  • Use information that has been located
    • Cross reference information found by using several websites to determine accuracy of information
    • Check date that website was last updated or properties of website to determine currency of information
    • Determine website authority by looking at copyright statements, privacy statements and organisational information
    • Save and print information found in different file forms

Readings[edit]

  1. Wikipedia: Web search engine
  2. Wikipedia: Search engine optimization

Multimedia[edit]

  1. YouTube: Search Engines
  2. YouTube: How Search Works
  3. YouTube: Basic Search Strategies
  4. YouTube: Google Advanced Search Tips
  5. YouTube: How do I search Google effectively? Part I: Boolean Operators & Phrase Searching
  6. YouTube: How do I effectively search Google? Part II: Domain Limit Searching
  7. YouTube: What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Activities[edit]

  1. Complete the following tutorials:
  2. Compare search engines.
    • Search for web search engine using Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask. Compare the results from each search engine. Which search engine has the best user interface? Which search engine provides the most useful results?
    • Using your preferred search engine, search for search engine market share. Which search engine has the highest market share?
  3. Use search engines.
    • Search using exact phrases. Review Google: Search Operators. Using your preferred search engine, search for the exact phrase "search engine" "market share". Compare the results of searching without quotes and with quotes. Does an exact phrase search return more accurate results for this search?
    • Search a specific site. Review Google: Search Operators. Using your preferred search engine, search Wikiversity for information on search engines using search engine site:wikiversity.org. Compare the results with using Wikiversity's built in Special:Search page. Which search approach provides the most useful results?
    • Use a Boolean search. Review Google: Search Operators. Using your preferred search engine, search for information on search engines or SEO using "search engine" or SEO. Review the results and read any that interest you.
    • Evaluate search results. Review Georgetown: Evaluating Internet Reources. Based on these guidelines, identify which of the search results above were the most reliable or credible.
  4. Learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
  5. Use the Internet Archive.
  6. Cite a web page.

Lesson Summary[edit]

  • A web search engine is a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web.[5]
  • Search engines maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.[6]
  • Web search engines get their information by web crawling from site to site.[7]
  • Indexing means associating words and other definable tokens found on web pages to their domain names and HTML-based fields.[8]
  • Beyond simple keyword lookups, search engines offer their own GUI- or command-driven operators and search parameters to refine the search results.[9]
  • Most search engines support the use of the boolean operators AND, OR and NOT to help end users refine the search query.[10]
  • The usefulness of a search engine depends on the relevance of the result set it gives back.[11]
  • Most Web search engines are commercial ventures supported by advertising revenue and thus some of them allow advertisers to have their listings ranked higher in search results for a fee.[12]
  • Search engines that do not accept money for their search results make money by running search related ads alongside the regular search engine results.[13]
  • The most popular search engines are Google, Bing, Baidu, and Yahoo![14]
  • Many search engines such as Google and Bing provide customized results based on the user's activity history.[15]
  • Search engine submission is a process in which a webmaster submits a website directly to a search engine.[16]
  • Web sites or web pages should be submitted to a search engine to add an entirely new web site without waiting for a search engine to discover it, and to have a web site's record updated after a substantial redesign.[17]
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results.[18]

Key Terms[edit]

Boolean operator
A symbol or word used to connect two or more search terms in a grammatically valid way, such that the value of the compound sentence produced depends only on that of the original terms and on the meaning of the operator. Common search Boolean operators include AND, OR, and NOT.[19]
cache
A hardware or software component that stores data so future requests for that data can be served faster.[20]
data mining
The computing process of discovering patterns in large data sets involving methods at the intersection of machine learning, statistics, and database systems[21]
filter bubble
A separation of users from information that disagrees with their viewpoints, resulting from personalized searches based on information about the user such as location, past click-behavior and search history.[22]
index
A list of words or phrases and associated pointers to where useful material relating to that word or phrase can be found in a document or collection of documents.[23]
keyword
A term that captures the essence of the topic of a document.[24]
link rot
The process by which hyperlinks on individual websites or the Internet in general point to web pages, servers or other resources that have become permanently unavailable.[25]
meta tag
Tags used in HTML and XHTML documents to provide structured metadata about a Web page.[26]
metadata
Data [information] that provides information about other data.[27]
proximity
A numerical description of how far apart objects are.[28]
query
A request that a user enters into a web search engine to satisfy his or her information needs.[29]
rank
A relationship between a set of items such that, for any two items, the first is either 'higher than', 'lower than' or 'equal to' the second.[30]
relevance
The concept of one topic being connected to another topic in a way that makes it useful to consider the second topic when considering the first.[31]
robots.txt
A standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots.[32]
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results.[33]
site map
A list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users.[34]
web crawler
An Internet bot that systematically browses the World Wide Web, typically for the purpose of Web indexing.[35]
web directory
An online list or catalog of websites, most often built manually by human editors.[36]
web robot
A software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the Internet.[37]
weighting
Emphasizing the contribution of some aspects of a phenomenon (or of a set of data) to a final effect or result.[38]

Assessments[edit]

See Also[edit]

References[edit]