Search en­gine eases in­for­ma­tion gath­er­ing

Times of Oman - - ROUND-UP -

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.

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