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 Source: This article was published universalclass.com - Contributed by Member: Bridget Miller

The Internet is often the first place many people go when they need to do research. Though this might be the first place to look for basic information, the key to using the Internet wisely begins with understanding how the Internet works and how it can work for you.

How Internet Search Engines Work

An Internet search engine is akin to a library in the online setting. Within millions of domain names are stored pieces of information you can use for your research.

However, you need to begin somewhere.

Browser: The browser is the entryway to your Internet searches. You can use a variety of different search engines to help you begin your research, including:

  • Google
  • MSN's Bing
  • Ask
  • Yahoo!
  • Dogpile
  • Altavista
  • AOL search

No matter what search engine you decide to use, you will find a vast collection of resources. Many people choose one search engine before all others, and you might choose to do the same.

In collecting your information, assess how quickly the search engine can get your needed materials and then choose the search engine that works consistently for you. It is much easier to use one search engine than to use several.

While search engines are complex in the way they arrange their information, this is the basic setup.

  • Domain name: At the base, each Web site online has its own personal URL. This is the name of the Web site. For example, you might have www.Apple.com. This is Apple's Web site name. If you were to type this name into a browser or search engine, you would find a listing for the Apple site. If you typed in another spelling into a Web browser, you would not reach this site.
  • Domain details: After the domain name, you might see additional words, often after a back slash (/). This allows the site to break up into additional pages so a person can reach different pieces of information.
  • Subpages: Within those pages might be even more subpages, helping you further refine your search and find the results that you need to complete your research.
  • Keywords: Search engines operate much like a computer at a library might. You can type in a word that is related to your topic, a title of a book, an author, a question, or any other number of words to find results that are related to your search. Search engines rank the sites online by the keywords that are most related to the Web sites, as well as to keywords that are used most often on those sites. For example, when you want to look something up about dieting, you do not type in "carrot." You type in "diet" or "dieting." Search engines have complicated algorithms to determine what keywords match best to Web sites online.
  • Popularity: What you might not realize is that search engines also will rank Web sites based on how popular they are with users. For example, when you look up weight loss, you might find a site that talks about the health-related aspects of weight loss, rather than an actual weight loss plan. Why is this? More people decided to choose that Web site over weight loss product Web sites, so the search engine ranks it higher. These popularity rankings might change between search engines or they might change over the course of a week, depending on the popularity of a Web site.

Now that you know how a search engine basically operates, you can begin to see how you need to work with the search engine to find the pages and Web sites you need for your individual research. Though you might have a clear idea in mind of the questions you need to answer, you need to work with the search engine to ensure you can find the best possible information.

The Internet has a lot of information, and the main part of your research process will be sifting through your findings to determine what is useful. 

Search Engine Strategies

When you first use a search engine to look up the answer to a question or to begin a research project, you will notice something: Some of the results you receive are relevant and some are not. This happens because search engines all have different rules about how the search engine results will be listed.

To maximize the efficiency of your search engine search, you need to use strategies that help you find the most relevant results first. This will reduce your research time and ensure the sites on the list will help you with your project.

  • One-word search: The simplest way to use a search engine is to type in one word that is crucial to your search. This might be a word that is in your research title or a certain item you need to know more about to be prepared for a presentation.
  • One-phrase search: If you have a phrase that is often attributed to your main topic, then you can use this in search engines.
  • Multiple term search: When you want to make your search as specific as possible, you might want to type in as many keywords as possible to make sure you are narrowing the results. For example, instead of "diet," you might type in "diet healthy vegetarian."
  • Quotation marks: If you want the search engine to search for something that is spelled the same way that you typed it in, surround the word with quotation marks. This tells the search engine that you want only results that match the spelling exactly.
  • "AND": One of the Boolean operators is "AND," which is a way to tell the search engine that you want to include multiple words in the search engine results. For example, if you want to talk about salt and pepper, then you might type in "salt AND pepper." This will lead to results that include both of the keywords.
  • "NOT": If you have a term you need to research, but you do not want another term associated with it, then you would use another Boolean operator. For example, you want to research "pepper NOT salt." This will exclude any results that include salt.
  • "OR": The last used Boolean operator is "OR." If you are not sure what you need to include, but you need to include both terms, you might put "salt OR pepper." Your results might include one or the other or both keywords.
  • Use common terms: If you need to do some research on sweatshirts, it might be better to use the word "sweatshirt" instead of "hoodie." Think about the most basic term associated with the idea you need to research.
  • Synonyms: You also may want to choose to use synonyms of the topic you need to research if you cannot find the original word online. You can turn to your thesaurus for help with finding synonyms.
  • Related terms: You may also want to create a list of related words that can help you begin to find more research results. When talking about an engagement, for example, you might include "diamond ring" in your search list, too.
  • List the most significant word first: When you have a list of words you will use in your search engine, type in the most important word first. This will ensure the search engine focuses on the most important term.
  • Asterisks: When you are not quite sure how to spell a word or you are missing a part of a phrase, you can use an asterisk to tell the search engine you need help. For example, if you are not sure what Shakespeare's important quote in Hamlet was, you might type "to be * to be." This would return results that answer your question.
  • Question marks: If you are not sure about your keywords or a part of the phrase you are typing into the search engine, then use a question mark.
  • Plus (+) sign: You can also use this to link together the keywords you want to be used as a part of the search process. For example, you might use "peanut+butter+jelly."

It can also help to review the help section of your search engine to see what types of search options it offers. Because the search engines all operate differently, you need to make sure you are playing by their rules to get the best results.

Advanced Search Engine Strategies

When you want to make sure that your search engine is giving you the best results, you can use the strategies above, or you can continue to boost your results by using these more advanced research strategies:

  • Use the "advanced results" option. Some search engines, including Google, offer an advanced results option. When you are unable to find results you need for your research, extend your research into that section. The more boxes you can fill out here, the more you will be able to refine your results.
  • Use another language. If your results might be listed under a different language or in another country, make sure to list other possible languages the text might be in.
  • Specify the date. When you need to have results from a certain time period, add the date or the time period of the results you want to see.
  • Specify the file format. You might want to find a certain document online, but without specifying the type of document, this can be tricky. Instead, add in whether you need a .doc, .docx, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, or other type of file to refine your results.
  • Specify the type of site. You can also make sure you are only getting useful sites by typing in things like ".edu" and ".gov" with your keywords. This will qualify your results and give you only results that are college and university Web sites or those that are run by government agencies.

The more that you begin to refine your search, the more effective results you will have. The better your research, the better the results. 

Potential Problems with Internet Research

While more people use the Internet than ever before for their research, this is not without its troubles. The Internet contains valuable information, but it also contains information that has not been well-researched.

Another set of problems occurs when a person uses the Internet for all research.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Choose respected sites. It is best to choose Web sites that have been used for years and that are run by a team of experts. At the very least, the Web site should have some sort of expertise or have a board of editors that helps ensure that information on the site is accurate.
  • Consider the objectivity of the Web site. When you read a Web site about the benefits of beef, look to see who is sponsoring the site. If a beef company is sponsoring the site, you might want to look at the information more carefully. While a site may not be lying about the information it posts, the site might be influenced by its sponsors.
  • Realize that some publications cannot be posted online. There are some journals and articles that might not be able to be posted online due to copyright issues. Some articles can only be found in print at libraries.
  • Notice that some publications are limited online. Many publications are limiting the content they have online. When this is the case, you might only be able to find a portion of the content you need.
  • Some research can only be obtained online via memberships. Some journals and magazines online will post all of their latest issue's contents, but a person will need to subscribe to be a member to access the information.

The Internet is one research tool, but it is not the only research tool. Instead of looking at the Internet as the only way to find what you need, look at the Internet as a helpful starting point.

You might be able to find the basic information you need, but do not limit yourself to just this research tool.

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was published ebizmba.com - Contributed by Member:Dorothy Allen

Here are the top 15 Most Popular Search Engines as derived from our eBizMBA Rank which is a continually updated average of each website's U.S. Traffic Rank from Quantcast and Global Traffic Rank from both Alexa and SimilarWeb."*#*" Denotes an estimate for sites with limited data.

 Google1 | Google

1 - eBizMBA Rank | 1,800,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 1 - Quantcast Rank | 1 - Alexa Rank | 1 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

bing2 | Bing
33 - eBizMBA Rank | 500,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 8 - Quantcast Rank | 40 - Alexa Rank | 43 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

search.yahoo3 | Yahoo! Search
43 - eBizMBA Rank | 490,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 8 - Quantcast Rank | *56* - Alexa Rank | *67* - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

baidu4 | Baidu
54 - eBizMBA Rank | 480,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | *150* - Quantcast Rank | 4- Alexa Rank | 9 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

ask5 | Ask
205 - eBizMBA Rank | 300,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 329 - Quantcast Rank | 110 - Alexa Rank | 177 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

search.aol6 | Aol Search
273 - eBizMBA Rank | 200,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | *350* - Quantcast Rank | 276 - Alexa Rank | *194* - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

duckduckgo7 | DuckDuckGo
392 - eBizMBA Rank | 150,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 421 - Quantcast Rank | 505 - Alexa Rank | 251 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

wolframalpha8 | WolframAlpha
1878 - eBizMBA Rank | 35,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 1773 - Quantcast Rank | 1817 - Alexa Rank | 2044 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

yandex9 | Yandex
2190 - eBizMBA Rank | 30,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 3228 - Quantcast Rank | 2120 - Alexa Rank | 1221 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

webcrawler10 | WebCrawler
2955 - eBizMBA Rank | 25,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 1137 - Quantcast Rank | 2289 - Alexa Rank | 5438 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

search11 | Search
3021 - eBizMBA Rank | 20,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 221 - Quantcast Rank | 4513 - Alexa Rank | 4330 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

dogpile12 | dogpile
4053 - eBizMBA Rank | 12,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 3075 - Quantcast Rank | 4604 - Alexa Rank | 4479 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

ixquick13 | ixquick
4415 - eBizMBA Rank | 11,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 5563 - Quantcast Rank | 4590 - Alexa Rank | 3091 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

excite14 | excite
6873 - eBizMBA Rank | 8,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | *6900* - Quantcast Rank | 6782 - Alexa Rank | 6938 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

info15 | Info
7172 - eBizMBA Rank | 7,000,000 - Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors | 3938 - Quantcast Rank | 7566 - Alexa Rank | 10013 - SimilarWeb Rank | Last Updated: May 1, 2018.

Categorized in Search Engine

When people think of search engines, the first name that comes to mind is often Google. It’s one of the most enduring brand names, and it has even worked its way into mainstream vernacular, and today many people substitute the phrase “searched online” for “Googled”. According to comScore, Inc., Google and its affiliated websites comprise 67.6% of the search engine market share in the United States, and, according to Netmarketshare 66.44% worldwide.

Though prominent, Google is not the only search engine available. There are innumerable others that provide various interfaces, search algorithms, and other unique features. Many even base their search algorithms around specific philosophies, ones that often attract brand-new audiences.

In descending order, the remaining most popular search engine companies in the United States, by market share after Google, are Microsoft (18.7%), Yahoo (10.0%), Ask Network (2.4%), and AOL (1.3%), according to ComScore report.

Likewise, according to December 2014 data, the remaining most popular search engines worldwide by market share are Baidu (11.15%), Bing (10.29%), Yahoo! (9.31%), and AOL (0.53%).

The exact data is highly variable based on who’s reporting it, and it varies even further on a month-to-month basis. But generally speaking, the ranking order does not vary much.

This list does not necessarily include the 12 most used or well-known search engines after Google; instead, it includes search engines that differ from one another in terms of history, philosophy, content, targeted audiences, and other variables. With that in mind, lets take a look at 12 of the most underrated search engines.

Bing

Based on comScore’s data, the next most powerful player in the search engine industry is Microsoft and its search engine, Bing.

Key differences between the two engines, according to the New York Times, lie in backdrop, search tools, and the amount of information offered on the immediate search page. Bing sports striking, engaging home pages, a display tool when searching for airline flights, aggregate restaurant rating badges, and more. One popular feature is its “linkfromdomain:” search term. This term allows users to see the most frequently used outgoing link from a given site. This can provide easy access to research pages or recommended sites from a trusted source.

Another operator, contains:FILETYPE, allows users to search by file type. Researchers and students with specific softwares may search specifically for PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, different photo types, and more universal file types on a whim. This helps to rule out unnecessary documents.

bing filetype operator

Bing’s clean interface particularly excels when searching for videos. The video searches don’t integrate well with text searches on Google. On Bing, the listed videos fit neatly side-by-side in an interface that best accommodates them. This helps to cut down on the amount of time a user would spend scrolling.

Bing hasn’t been shy in comparing itself to Google, either. It has even launched a website titled “Bing It On which directly compares its search results to those of Google.

Yahoo

Another powerful competitor in the search engine market is the long-enduring Yahoo. For many, Yahoo is much more than a search engine; it’s an online Swiss Army knife.

In addition to its search engine, the Yahoo Web portal offers easy access to its news aggregator, games center, retail options, travel guide, horoscope, and other varied features. Yahoo Finance is a popular aggregate for some of the best financial news available, combining information from CNN Money, The Street, and more.

Another extraordinarily well-used feature of Yahoo is Yahoo Answers, which is a forum that allows people to phrase questions in ways the traditional search engines have difficulty handling. Other users can view questions and use their background knowledge and tailor their answers in a personalized manner.

Other popular aspects of Yahoo include easy photo sharing (facilitated by Yahoo’s purchase of Flickr), local news through Yahoo Local, and myriad entertainment options. By having all these convenient features in one place, users rarely have to venture elsewhere if they don’t want to.

Yandex

Founded in Russia in 1997, Yandex has quickly risen to become the country’s premier search engine. Since 2010, it has gone worldwide and become a popular resource for those looking for easy-to-use search pages between different languages. Its translation and cross-lingual search options are featured prominently on its homepage, and it accommodates English, Russian, German, French, and smaller Eastern European languages. This allows bilingual searchers or students working on language projects to more easily find whatever it is they’re looking for.

yandex search engine

Ask

The search engine formerly known as “Ask Jeeves” was easily one of Google’s greatest competitors during the early days of the World Wide Web. Though not the hot commodity it once was, it remains popular for its accommodation of natural, colloquial language. After a user poses a question, it provides possible answers and a large list of other pertinent questions.

Ask’s historic accommodation of vernacular has, in essence, found a spiritual successor through voice commands and searches on mobile devices. Thanks to Apple’s Siri (which relies on Bing) and the Google app, there’s less stigma over voice commands, and they’re becoming more popular. With Siri, users are directly able to bypass using their other apps or search engines by just asking their phone a question.

Though Ask may have popularized the use of dialectal searches, it unfortunately is not as well-integrated with the programs that now champion them.

Dogpile

For those unsure of which search engine to use, many default to Dogpile — the engine that aggregates from pretty much everyone else.

Like Ask, Dogpile is another site with early online history and considerable brand loyalty. Search results (from Google, Yahoo, Yandex, and more) are set upon a focused interface of white and varying shades of blue. Many prefer Dogpile for its chic design, comprehensive answers, and a template that doesn’t prove too distracting or cluttered.

dogpile search engine

Its listed features include: Category Links, Yellow Pages, White Pages, Statistics Bar, Search Finder, Preferences, Spelling Correction, About Results, and Favorite Fetches. A user’s Dogpile experience is easily personalized to a user’s liking.

Yippy

Many Internet users are unfamiliar with the Deep Web. According to CNN, the Deep Web encompasses everything traditional search engines having trouble finding. Pages in the Deep Web may be relatively unconnected to other parts of the Internet or housed on private networks.

yippy search engine

Search engine Yippy (formerly Clusty) searches the Web using other search engines, but it provides results in the form of “clouds” instead of traditional search methods. This makes it more likely to find pages that would be otherwise buried or nearly impossible to find using search engines like Google or Yahoo. Though Yippy doesn’t have the ability to scour the every corner of the Deep Web (no search engine does), it is much more capable and efficient at finding pages for users with more obscure and niche tastes.

Duck Duck Go

With a name based on the popular kids’ game Duck Duck Goose, Duck Duck Go is a website that many find as approachable, user-friendly, and engaging as the game.

Duck Duck Go’s first priority is protecting user privacy. Many adults of all ages find themselves concerned over identity theft and hacking; these issues regularly appear on both local and national news. This search engine doesn’t reach into your history, email, or social media workings to drum up relevant information. Two totally different people can search the same term and get identical results.

The search engine also maintains a handy infinite scroll option (no need to click to other pages), reduced advertising spam, and prompts to help clarify a question.

EntireWeb

First launched back in 2000, EntireWeb is a search engine that requires pages to submit their websites to it for free. This results in a much less crowded search space and guarantees those who submit are less likely to be drowned out by other competition. Queries can be submitted for regular Web search, image search, or real-time search.

Blekko

Created just a few years ago in 2010, blekko (with a stylized lowercase “b”) is the search engine clearly inspired by Twitter. While Twitter (and now other social media sites) has “hashtags,” blekko has “slashtags.” When searching something in its database, blekko provides users with a series of related key words with which to narrow their search.

For instance, searching “celebrity news” on blekko turns up the slashtags for Top Results, Gossip, Magazine, and Latest. Blekko’s interface, which combines minimalist squares and a varied color palette, is considered very user-friendly.

blekko search engine results page example

Goodsearch

Recent years have seen an uptick in people’s interest in engaging technology in an ethical manner. As corporations such as Google and Microsoft continue to grow steadily more powerful, people have been better scrutinizing where their money and attention go.

Goodsearch is a search engine for the charitable. Fueled by Yahoo, Goodsearch allows users to pick a cause of their choice; this can be a nonprofit organization or school. Upon selecting their target, Goodsearch will begin donating 50% of its revenue from that user to their cause. To date, Goodsearch has donated well over $11 million to a variety of sources. According to Goodsearch, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has received more than $50,000, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has received more than $18,000 from the website.

goodsearch search engine donation exa,mple

In recent years, Goodsearch has earned the attention of many celebrities, including Zooey Deschanel, Jessica Biel, and Montel Williams.

GigaBlast

Another search engine boasting enormous social and trust capital is GigaBlast. Founded in 2000, GigaBlast is, according to its LinkedIn page, the “leading clean-energy search engine.” An impressive 90% of its energy usage comes from harnessed wind energy, and the company maintains fewer than 10 employees.

Though it’s physically small, its power is big. GigaBlast indexes well over 10 billion pages of content. As environmental issues become more prominent in public consciousness, people are more likely to turn to sites like GigaBlast.

Baidu

Though a relative unknown in the United States, Chinese search engine Baidu is a juggernaut on the international scene. It’s the top search engine in China (with 62% of search engine market share in 2013), and it is the second most popular search engine in the world.

“China’s Google,” as it is nicknamed, has been steadily growing since its incorporation in 2000, and it has recently begun courting English-speaking developers. Its features include searchable webpages, audio files, and images, a collaborative encyclopedia, and a bustling discussion forum. Thanks to its savvy smartphone integration, it has leapt past its immediate competitor, Qihoo 360, which now has only 21% of the Chinese search engine market share.

baidu-and-google

If Baidu manages to continue its domestic success abroad, it might not be long before it does become a household name in the United States.

In Conclusion

Once-popular search engines like AOL.com and InfoSeek have either died out or are now sock-puppeted by their former competitors. InfoSeek attempted to charge for searches, failed, adjusted by depending on gaudy banner advertisements, became a generic “portal,” and was finally salvaged by Google. As AOL declined after its merger with Time Warner, so did its search engine. Now it is also part of Google.

Search engines in the preceding list still thrive because they capitalize upon some distinct corner of the market. For some, that market involves corporate social responsibility (Goodsearch, GigaBlast), social trends (Blekko), privacy concerns (Duck Duck Go), or utility (Yippy, Dogpile). Giants like Google, Bing, and Yahoo largely dominate the general market, so the others have had to specialize to survive.

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/going-beyond-google-comprehensive-list-search-engines/123880/

Categorized in Search Engine

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