Basics SEO

How to Use Search Engines

As we all know, the extent of the internet is vast; it comprises endless web pages and websites awaiting your view… But how do you find them?… Through a search engine.

Everyday more and more pages and sites are being spidered, so in order to find specific information on the internet the searches have become more complex. Just one word searches are landing you with a “gazillion” results. Try a search phrase with quotation marks, see the difference. Overall, search engines, while far from perfect, have made great advances in helping surfers find their way efficiently through the web. As a search engine optimizer, search engines become your best friend. You learn their unique differences and try to figure out their preferences. I am going to give you an overview of a few search engines, directories and hybrid search sites that are reliable and easy to use.

The main difference between search engines and directories is human intervention. Search engines use spiders that crawl through the web to collect and index the full text of pages that they find. Directories rely on human editors to sift through pages, cut out inappropriate web pages and categorizing sites by subject. Nothing goes into the directory unless an editor approves it.

The Internet contains trillions of pages. Most engines do not come close to indexing the whole net. The largest directory is called Open Directory Project (better known as, which is tiny in comparison, with a current index of only about 4.5 million websites.

See the article below for a current list of search engines with descriptions of their differences.

Major Search Engines and Directories
SearchEngineWatch – March 2007.