A general search engine is an Internet portal through which a person can search numerous compiled resources for topic-related information. Common general search engines include Google, Yahoo!, Alta Vista and Bing. To perform a search, the user enters a word or phrase.
A general search engine operates using a search algorithm. Websites that are listed in the search engine's directory are used to search for information based on various search qualities. The goal is that the user gets relevant results with useful pages. A meta search engine is a large search engine that actually searches through multiple search engine directories for information.