Inbound Marketing Blog | Inbound

What's a Search Engine?

Written by Steven Male | Dec 1, 2016 2:34:55 AM

In modern times, you can hop on any computer or mobile phone and look up just about anything at all. The use of search engines makes it possible to find everything that you could ever want to know.

A search engine is quite simple. A user enters a query, a word or group of words, into the search box. The search engine returns as many results as possible in a matter of seconds. You'll often find millions of results to a single query. This is where the algorithm comes into play. The main idea behind the algorithm of a search engine is that it will only return relevant results to the initial query.

Owners of various websites use something called keywords in their content. These keywords are what helps the search engines to pull relevant content and those results to in turn send users to their websites. From there, a user can gather information, make purchases, etc.

While there are thousands of search engines on the world wide web now, there are only a few popular ones; Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Chances are that if you use any of them, your query will return the same results, usually in a different order.

Since the beginning of the world wide web, search engines have been a popular go-to for those doing research in one form or another. Yet, the search engines themselves have come a long way. 

You now have the option to not only find written results, but images and videos as well. They have become so advanced that users can even enter a few words of a song and find all the lyrics!

Search engines are user friendly; to the point that they can be used by old and young alike. They make things like writing school reports or research papers much simpler. 

Are you at a loss for restaurant ideas for dinner? Just look up “restaurants near me” and an entire list of nearby places to eat will pop up and help you narrow down your decision! Let’s face it, in the busy times of the world, we are all looking for a bit of modern convenience and ways to save ourselves time!

Not only do you have the option to do a broad search with a few keywords, with search engines, you also have the ability to omit results that contain certain words too. Type your query in the search box and for any words that you wish to omit from the results, type a minus sign before them. This is a quick and easy way to narrow down your results even more! Sometimes, a return of thousands of results can be a bit overwhelming and this will help take away some of the confusion.

One thing to keep in mind when using a search engine is that some results returned can be of not much use. Because there are billions of websites on the world wide web, included in those billions are what we call “spam sites”. Those sites are notorious for providing information that is not true or “spam”. While sometimes at first glance, it is hard to tell which information is legitimate and which is spam, upon a bit of reading of the content, it is pretty easy to soon figure it out. If all else fails, you can return to the search engine and read a few of the other results to help you determine the good from the bad.

Search engines can not only be beneficial when it comes to research, homework, restaurants and more, but they can be used for things like building vocabulary, learning definitions of words, movie ideas, recipes, home décor ideas and so much more.

Whatever you reason for pulling up that search engine may be, you are sure to have a great time.