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Tutorial: Doing Research on the Internet - Pt. 5

Search Engines

Search engines are probably the most frequently used for for finding information on the web.

A search engine allows one to ask for content meeting specific criteria (typically those containing a given word or phrase ) and retrieves a list of references that match those criteria. Search engines do not scan the Web "live" in response to each search; they use regularly updated indexes to operate quickly and efficiently.

These engines automatically create and index databases, so the volume of web sites they find is enormous. The down side to this is lack of discrimination about the quality of the sites. One retrieves lots of junk using them.

An excellent tool for learning about and keeping up-to-date with the ever-greater number of search engines is Search Engine Watch ( This informative site will provide tips on how engines work, how to search using them, and how they are reviewed.

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