How well do you know web search engines?



9 Questions

What is the purpose of a web search engine?

What are search engine results pages (SERPs)?

What is the deep web?

What is the purpose of web crawling in search engines?

Which search engine was the first to search content files, namely FTP files?

What is the algorithm that Google used to achieve better results for many searches around 2000?

What is the market share of Google in the search engine market as of January 2022?

What is a filter bubble?

What is the purpose of social bookmarking systems?


Web Search Engines: A Brief History and How They Work

  • A web search engine is a software system that searches the World Wide Web for information specified in a textual web search query.

  • Search results are presented in a line of results, often referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs).

  • Search engines scan their index of web pages to find those that are relevant to the user's query and rank the results by relevancy.

  • Search engines mine data available in databases or open directories and maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.

  • Any internet-based content that cannot be indexed and searched by a web search engine falls under the category of deep web.

  • The first internet search engines predate the debut of the Web in December 1990, with WHOIS user search dating back to 1982 and the Knowbot Information Service multi-network user search being implemented in 1989.

  • Archie was the first well-documented search engine that searched content files, namely FTP files, debuting on September 10, 1990.

  • WebCrawler, launched in 1994, was the first popular search engine on the Web that allowed users to search for any word in any webpage, which has become the standard for all major search engines since.

  • Google's search engine rose to prominence around 2000, achieving better results for many searches with an algorithm called PageRank.

  • Active search engine crawlers as of 2019 include those of Google, Sogou, Baidu, Bing, Gigablast, Mojeek, DuckDuckGo, and Yandex.

  • Search engines maintain processes in near real-time, including web crawling, indexing, and caching, and offer their own GUI- or command-driven operators and search parameters to refine search results.

  • The usefulness of a search engine depends on the relevance of the result set it gives back, and most search engines employ methods to rank the results to provide the "best" results first.Overview of Web Search Engines

  • Most search engines are commercial ventures supported by advertising revenue, and some allow advertisers to rank higher in search results for a fee.

  • Local search is the process of optimizing local businesses to ensure consistent results, with many people determining where to go and what to buy based on their searches.

  • Google dominates the search engine market, with a 90.6% market share as of January 2022, followed by Bing, Yahoo!, Baidu, Yandex, and DuckDuckGo.

  • Yandex has a 62.6% market share in Russia, while Baidu is the most popular search engine in China, and Naver is used for 62.8% of online searches in South Korea.

  • Google is not in the top three web search engines for market share in China, while Seznam is a strong competitor in the Czech Republic.

  • Search engines are programmed to rank websites based on popularity and relevancy, but there are various political, economic, and social biases in the information they provide.

  • Search engines and social media platforms use algorithms to selectively guess what information a user would like to see, leading to filter bubbles.

  • Islamic adherents in the Middle East and Asian sub-continent have attempted to create their own search engines, with some success.

  • Web search engine submission is a process in which a webmaster submits a website directly to a search engine, but it is not necessary as search engines use web crawlers that will eventually find most websites on the internet without assistance.

  • Social bookmarking systems have advantages over traditional automated resource location and classification software, such as search engine spiders.

  • The first web search engine was Archie, while Yahoo! was a searchable directory, and Excite was the first serious commercial search engine.

  • There are various types of web search engines, including bot-based search engines, human-powered directories, and hybrid search engines.How Search Engines Work

  • Search engines are sites that allow users to search for content on other websites.

  • There are three types of search engines: those powered by robots, those powered by human submissions, and hybrids of the two.

  • Crawler-based search engines use automated software agents or crawlers that visit a website, read its information, and follow its links for indexing.

  • Human-powered search engines rely on human submissions to index and catalog information.

  • When users query a search engine, they are searching through the index that the search engine has created, not actually searching the web.

  • The same search may produce different results on different search engines because not every search engine uses the same algorithm to search through its index.

  • Search engine algorithms scan for the frequency and location of keywords on a web page and how pages link to each other to determine relevance.

  • Sophisticated search engine technology has evolved to ignore keyword stuffing and artificial links.

  • There are web search engines, database or structured data search engines, mixed search engines, and scientific search engines.

  • Google and Yahoo! utilize hundreds of thousands of computers to process trillions of web pages to return search results.

  • Researchers are working to improve search engine technology by making the engines understand the content element of articles, such as extracting theoretical constructs or key research findings.

  • Search engine technology is becoming more sophisticated, but indexing and ranking algorithms still have room for improvement.


Test your knowledge on web search engines with our quiz! Learn about the history of search engines, how they work, and the different types of search engines out there. From the first search engines like Archie to Google's dominance today, this quiz covers it all. See if you can answer questions about how search engines rank results, the different biases that can affect search results, and the future of search engine technology. Sharpen your knowledge on this essential tool for navigating the vast expanse of the internet.

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