Saturday, 13 June 2015

Search Engines: What's Under the Bonnet?

Search Engines: What's Under the Bonnet?
  • Objectives:- To understand which search engine databases are unique, and which are owned by the same company.
  • Method:-You will go to the Searchenginewatch.com site and learn more about search engines.
  • Comments: Understanding which database is underlying each search engine can help you quickly identify which search engines are the best alternatives to the one you regularly use.

A. In your web browser go to: http://searchenginewatch.com/reports/art...hp/2156401

This will take you to the SearchEngineWatch "Who Powers Whom? Search Providers Chart". The chart explains the (rather complicated!) nature of commercial search engines – read through the introductory text that explains the chart.


This chart has not yet been updated to include the new MSN Search (launched at the end of January 2004). After previously using results provided by Yahoo!, Microsoft has now developed its own database.

Examine the chart - key points are that:


  1. At the time this chart was last updated, there were only 2 main search engine database providers – Google and Yahoo! Before February 2004, Yahoo! used to use Google's database, but after buying Inktomi, AltaVista and AlltheWeb, it launched its own database.
  2. Although Google and Yahoo! are the major providers, there are some others, including Teoma (owned by Ask). See the Notes next to each search engine.
  3. As well as providing normal search engine results, Google also provides paid listings to other search engines (its Sponsored Links). search engines, for example Teoma, may use Google's paid listings while using their own database for their main web listings.
  4. Yahoo's paid listings are provided by Overture, a company which it also owns.
  5. Note: Although the same search engine database may underly 2 different search engines, there may offer different search features. For example, Yahoo! owned AltaVista offers full Boolean searching, which is not offered at Yahoo!.

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