Home Internet 101 How do you find stuff on the web?

How do you find stuff on the web?

With so many web pages out there, finding what you want can be pretty difficult. In the early days of the web, there use to be massive lists of websites called directories that listed all the different sites. However as the web got bigger these lists got longer until it was hard to even find something in the directory! While there are still some directories available today like the Yahoo Directory or the ODP, most people search the web using a search engine.

A search engine is a web site that finds other websites for you based on the words you enter into a text box. When you put in a search term, the search engine compares the words in the box which are called keywords to it's database of websites. Then using a special computer program called an algorithm, it gives you a list of web sites that relate to your keywords.

Search engines use special programs called robots or spiders to find new web pages. These robots crawl around the web jumping from page to page using the links. This way the robot not only finds new web pages, but it also can figure out how important that web page is by how many other web pages are linking to it. To learn about search engines and how to use them properly, go to the 'how do I use a search engine?' section.

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