An online software program which function is to search for websites with the input of keywords, retrieving a list of information relevant to the keywords, called hits, is known as a search engine. To do this the search engine sends out a spider that crawls the internet, gathering all possible documents related to the search.
A program contained within the search engine, the indexer, then compiles the returned documents into an index based on the keywords found in each. This helps the search engine to return optimum results each and every query. The entire process can be summarized as follows. First, an online user inputs the query line a search request. Then the software thereafter scans its indexes for documents to retrieve in answer to the query. The procedure can be described as a series of web crawling, database scanning, processing, relevancy assessment and data retrieval to produce optimum search results. In displaying results to the user, the program even arranges the hits in order of relevance, the most relevant appearing foremost in the list.
The goal of each and every search engine is to give the user the best hits in as efficient and timely manner as possible.
What website visitors usually gripe about
A lot of internet users find that they have to be lucky to get the exact results they need when using any search engine. What many people do is they input their query and wait for the program to return results that hopefully contain what they asked for. A lot of computer experts agree that this is the usual practice.
In reality, what search engines attempt to do is merely optimize hits. This helps the program to better understand the objective of the query, and retrieve desirable data as opposed to irrelevant results.
On the other hand, it can be said that even veteran web users at times do not know how to input an effective query. It is also true that search engines, for all their usefulness, have their own faults. An alarming trend nowadays is that search engines are charging fees to businesses using them at an increased rate. As they gear more toward this setup, query results are often inclined to suggest pages related to the advertisers, and less often return useful information which the user really needs.
What needs to be improved in search engine technology?
The process behind each search engine query is sophisticated, but there is still much room for improvement. The most obvious areas for fine-tuning include query caching, index creation and updating, and better disk allocation.
A great deal doing is for search engine developers to produce better algorithms to update indexes, reload older web pages and add new pages. The capability to do image scans is one important upgrade that should be available to search engine users soon.
Another aspect that needs improvement is link structure and text organization. There is a notion that Google’s Page Rank system is capable of being tailored according to a user’s personal preferences. This can be done by orienting search queries based on the home page or any bookmarks that the user may have added. Proxy caches may also be improved and in the future creating and maintaining search databases using them may be possible.
Arguably the one most important objective is for search engines to return the most accurate and precise results derived from an increasingly expanding Internet. Developments should touch on tweaking abilities such as page rank, anchor text, and proximity information. Web page scanning, advanced search tools and indexing functions should also be restructured.
Furthermore, experts agree that search engines should be able to do link and dynamic content tracking better. Quite possibly this will entail a new program being developed, at a premium, which will monitor the movements of the search engine spider.
Search engine technology of the future
Even with the influx of smaller search engines in the internet, the burden to take the technology to greater heights still remains with the big-league players like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.
Information technology specialists think that the current software machinery behind search engines will become vastly superior in the near future. However, this new technology might come at the price of users giving much in the way of privacy protection.
Imagine if Google were to have the ability to monitor and log all the websites visited and all the searches made by a user. A personalized database such a capability will produce could vastly enhance search engine retrieval for that particular user in terms of relevance. Compared to the convenience and satisfaction derived from an enhancement, letting slip a modicum of private information is a small price to pay.