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Search engines

Search engines are used to search for resources on the Internet. They are specialized programs that look through Web pages for the occurrence of a specified keyword or phrase. When selecting a search engine, be aware that each search engine varies by:

  • the amount of the Internet being searched and
  • the type of sources being retrieved


No search engine can search the entire Internet at once. Estimates vary widely but most popular search engines only index a very small percentage of the information contained online, about 5% or less. 

There are many search engines available on the Web. Because each returns different results for a search, it may be helpful to try more than one search engine when you are looking for information.

Search engines also come and go; many have been bought by larger companies (e.g., Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves Inc.) and incorporated into more popular search engines.

Chapter 6 — Page 8