Search Engine

What is a search engine?

A search engine is a software program that is used to find answers to queries by using algorithms to search through a database of information that is stored on a computer system. In its most basic form a search engine can be described as an electronic information retrieval system. The software that runs on a computer terminal at the local library, to help people find the books they wish to borrow, is an example of a search engine. The most common form of search engine, and the focus of SEO Today, is a Web search engine, which refers to an online tool that is used to search for information on the World Wide Web (Web), or a small portion of the Web.

Web search engines use propriety algorithms to create and store indexes of the millions of websites available online into a database. These algorithms ensure that only meaningful results are displayed when users make queries. Because all Web search engines use different algorithms, a user may get varying answers to their queries, depending on which Web search engine they choose.

Web search engines typically consist of three parts:
1. Retrieval Program – A program that searches the Web and gathers information, commonly
referred to as a spider, crawler or robot (bot).
2. Database – A collection of the indexes and associated information that has been created by
using the retrieval program.
3. Search Tool – An interface that allows the user to search through the database by using

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