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What is the function of search engines?

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Quick Answer

Search engines function on the Internet by allowing Internet users to find specific information from the Web based on keyword criteria that is entered by the user. Search engines don't function on the Internet, but they provide databases for people who are seeking information that can be found on the Web.

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What is the function of search engines?
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Full Answer

There are many search engine options for users of the Internet, with some being more popular than others. Despite what brand the search engine is or how the specific search engine works, it has a few things in common with other search engines. Each search engine has a crawler that projects into the Internet to follow hyperlinks and gather information from Web pages. Each search engine also has a program that allows the information collected from the crawler to be categorized in an index.

When users put their search criteria into the search engine, a second program will then decide which keywords match best with which pieces of information that were obtained from the Web. Most search engines have sets of variable criteria that can change the way an item is searched and the way that results appear simply by changing the type of keyword that is put into the search engine. The process by which results are obtained is a simple comparison.

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