Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Delve Into Search Engines

Thursday, February 18, 2010

In this present age of information technology, the Internet is practically the gateway to paradise. Without the Internet, so many things would seem impossible – no chatting on MSN, no Facebook, no You Tube, no Wikipedia and the list can go on.

Not only that, but without the Internet, there would be no need for search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Today, these search engines play an integral role in helping people to navigate to a desired website, blog or anything for that matter by just typing in the keywords of what they are searching for.

The being of search engines has benefited many people, me and you included. Say, for example, we need to find some information regarding our school history project, or want to do a research for our university thesis, or even want to find a job, all we have to do is go to any given search engine and there we are.

But no, it’s not magic! Search engines operate mainly on complex algorithms, supported by human input at times. First, the ‘spiders’ will crawl through web pages and store the information that it has picked up. Then, after analysing these pieces of information, the search engines will index the web pages. Only after that would we be able to search for those web pages.

To cut the long story short, I have compiled the three most common search engine operators of today below. Have a read and let me know which search engine do you primarily use by leaving a comment below. If you are wondering which is mine, it's Google. And of course, these are not the only Search Engines out there, but they are generally the more popular ones.

Google Search

I guess Google needs no introduction. I mean, it is the most-used search engine, amassing 86% of all search queries made on the Web. Founded in the year 1997 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google has now become more than just a search engine – it is an icon, a brand, a global phenomenon.

Something elusive about Google is that it indexes its search results based on the Google Page Rank. In simple terms, the higher the Page Rank of a webpage, the higher it’s listing on the search results, with the maximum Page Rank attainable being 10. The Page Rank of this blog is currently 2, which is not bad actually.

Yahoo! Search

In terms of the percentage of the total search queries made on the Web, Yahoo!, which was launched in 1995, ranks second to Google at around 6%. Currently, Yahoo! is powered by Bing, which means it doesn’t really have its own system to index web pages among others. Once upon a time, Yahoo! was widely used by many, but the rise of Google just knocked it off its perch.

Now, Yahoo! is mainly used as an alternative mode of searching for information on the Web. However, there are certain quality features of Yahoo!, such as the selection-based search called Yahoo! Shortcuts and the search scan which alerts users of unsafe search results that might contain viruses and bring harm to your computer.


Formerly known as MSN Search, Bing was launched by Microsoft in 2009 to keep the domination of Google in particular in check. It acted as a rebranding exercise to give Bing a new look to challenge the superiority of Google. Plus, with the experience of the Microsoft intellects at Bing’s disposal, it has much to offer.

Some notable features of Bing include the picturesque backgrounds that always complement its search box on its homepage, and a 'related searches' tab on the left of the list of search results. Currently, Bing is ranked third behind Yahoo! and Google, but I believe that in time to come, the ultimate motive of displacing Google as the top search engine provider will drive Bing to success.


I decided to do a survey in conjunction with this blog post. Therefore, I asked 26 of my friends and family members the following question: "Which search engine do you usually use - Yahoo!, Google or Bing?" The result of my survey is presented above.

-The End-
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