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Search Engines, Subject Directories, and Metacrawlers  

Last Updated: Mar 28, 2014 URL: http://mvcc.libguides.com/searchengines Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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What are...?

What is a search engine?

A search engine is an online tool for searching web sites.  General search engines will search for any site, any subject, and any type of file.   Specialty search engines will search one particular subject or one particular type of file.  Web sites are gathered by search engines via software programs called "spiders" that crawl the web and look for web sites.   Creators of web sites can also register their web site with a particular search engine to ensure that their web site will be covered by that search engine.

What is a subject directory?

A subject directory is a search engine that arranges its web sites by subject areas.  It seaches a limited number of web sites.  Web sites in a subject directory are added by people, who select them for quality, relevance, or some other criteria.   This is why subject directories do not tend to return as many hits for your search as search engines do.

What is a metacrawler?

A metacrawler is a search engine that searches multiple search engines and subject directories simultaneously.  You can type in one search and the metacrawler will give you the results for a number of search engines and subject directories. 

 

For further information, see:

Sauers, Michael P.  Searching 2.0.  (Z 711.47 .S28 2009)

 


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