Search engine eases information gathering
MUSCAT: Dr Vijaya, head, Academic Support Services at Waljat College of Applied Sciences briefs about the massive transformation the search engines have undergone in the recent years.
It was about 71 years before Vannever Bush put forth his notion of hypertext and memory extension in real life in his book, As We May Think, which came as a publication of the Atlantic Monthly. Vannever’s essential point was to build a ‘ body of knowledge for all mankind’. His intent was not just the creation of a storing firm. The added objective was to discern the consequences that result from rendering the existing sources to the human kind, in accordance with the search, and to know the way the mankind works with their abilities. This idea has propelled umpteen number of search engines to be created in the early 1990’s itself. A small number of them include Archie (1990), Veronica and Jughead (1991), Vlib (1992), Excite (1993), ALIWEB (1993), Web crawler (1994), Yahoo (1994), Look Smart (1995), Google (1996), ASK (1997), MSN (1998), AllTheWeb (1999) and Bing (2009) etc. Enhancements to the search engines were so frequent to bear the fast changing environment as well as the everchanging markets, in addition to tolerating the web trend changes.
A few decades back, one is in need of the exact wordings that correspond to a website title to succeed in their task of searching. But, this situation has undergone a massive transformation in recent years. All that a web surfer has to do is to furnish a phrase or keyword related to a specific topic of interest and the search engine responds by bringing out a plethora of great information from a myriad of sources. The search engine has caused a change in the way the information is gathered from World Wide Web (WWW), which serves as the primary source of knowledge all around the globe.
To accomplish the task of info gathering, the search engine indexes the WWW through a spider or web crawler. The spider or the web crawler signifies a computing robot, which indulges in scanning and assessing the content on site pages and information archives. No two search engines operate with the same algorithm for determining the relevant web page, which pertains to a particular keyword, and for ranking the order of web page.
For instance, consider the keyword ‘optimisation’. The Wikipedia page of optimisation assumes the first rank, in case of the Google search engine. On the contrary, the Yahoo search engine renders a rank of 2 for the same word, owing to the change in the searching algorithm.
The real-time working nature of the search engine is a great boon to mankind, allowing any person with a query to acquire the desired information in just a single click. The interest over the search engines is getting increased at an alarming rate that they are indeed playing a crucial role in our day-to-day life. The dependency over the search engines has grown immensely with the fact that the people are craving for the answers to their queries, in abundance. While looking at the current day search engines, they are found to readily offer the concept of personalisation in the search. With personalised search, the search results that make a match with the user’s interest are displayed. This is possible with the search engine tracking the user’s search history. A personalised search makes use of date of birth, user name, browser cache and many more details as well. In all, the modern search engines can be viewed as an attractive unconceivable – complex algorithm, rendering more accurate return results for the user query.
Info search, via modern search engines, can be achieved through advanced search and vertical search. In case of advanced search, one is enabled to refine his/her queries to appeal for the files/pages of a specific domain. Hence, the advanced search promotes a more refined form of search. In contrast, the vertical search aid in structuring the information index or limiting the search index to a more trusted or better-structured collection of sources, documents, and information. Whatever the search kind may be, the users are rendered with a good number of benefits. Meta search engines are search engines, inducing their search results from multiple other search engines, combining and re-ranking those results.
Like search engines, the students who pursue their Higher Education in Waljat College of Applied Sciences acquire in depth knowledge in the field of Engineering, Management and Technology.