Types of Search Engines
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Types of Search Engines

The word "search engine" is frequently informally used to describe a site that provides a web search facility (to find other sites).

There are many kinds of search engine and these include:
  1. Automatic Search Engines are based on information that is collected, sorted and analyzed automatically.

    A software program, (known as a "robot", "spider" or "crawler") reads web pages, follows links between pages and sites, and collects information for later use. The information collected is analyzed into an "index" which is like a huge database of all the sites the crawler visited.

    When you search using one of these search engines, you are really searching the index. The results of the search will depend on the contents of the index, which are themselves based on the contents of each web page, including the title of the page, text, etc.

    Changing the information on your web pages, will usually (eventually) cause the entries in the index for your site to change, although this will open happen once the search engine's software has seen your new content. Modifying your web page can make your site relevant for more/less/different searches, and change how and where you appear in the search results listing.

  2. Directories are based on information put together by human editors. The editors decide which sites to list, and, in which categories.

    In many directories, the sites that editors consider are based on submissions or suggestions that people (often the webmasters of the sites concerned) make to them.

    With directories, the HTML content of your pages often does not directly affect your listing. What may count is the impression that you make on the editor, the words he/she chooses to use, information in the submission form, etc.

  3. Pay Per Click search engines allow you to pay (advertise) to be listed for relevant keywords, although their may some guidelines or rules to stop advertisers messing up the results.

    The amount you pay overall is based on a combination of how much traffic you receive, and often far up the results you come (higher up usually costs more). A whole section of this web site is devoted to this topic.

  4. Meta Search Engines display results which are actually a combination of the results produced by other search engines.
It is also true that many search engines use a combination of methods to generate their results. For example: they might include or combine automatic search information and directory information, or they might use the directory information to sort or filter the automatic search results, or they might combine pay per click results with their own results, or they might...

Looking for SEO Software or to improve your website traffic? Here's a list of SEO Software & Downloads

Search Engine Basics

How Search Engines Work
 Ranking and Results
 Types of Search Engines

Search Engine Promotion
 An Introduction To

Search Engine Issues
 One Million Search Engines?
 The Meta Tags Are It

 Keyword Density
 Link Popularity
 Meta Tags
 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
 Search Terms

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