Search Engines Are More Than Index Pages

By Chet Hastings

Once your computer and internet skills have advanced to the extent that you now understand a few terms, you may began to wonder whether those mysterious search engines have a greater purpose than merely storing and indexing information. By now you know that a server is a place where websites containing all the information available on the World Wide Web is stored and a browser window is a page you open on your machine to type in items you are searching for. In other words you are browsing the internet and the server is serving up the stored information.

You have figured out that the machine that keeps all this information in some kind of order is an engine, but is that really all that engines offer? Well in fact they offer so much more. Their primary job is to make sure that the information you receive is relevant. If you are searching for information about Coach purses you don't want to find information about football or basketball coaches. These engines use some very complicated algorithms which basically are a mathematical formula for sorting through all that available information and doing their best to give you just what you are searching for.

It is important to the various engines to give you the best information available just to make sure you will use their search engine in the future. After all you have a wide choice of search engines to choose from. Google, Yahoo and Bing are just a few of them, but also the three major engines. Now how do these companies that provide these services pay their bills. One way is to offer advertising on their search pages. Remember those Coach purses we searched for earlier. When that page returned our information we noticed ads down the right side of the page. Usually about eight ads per page.

Advertisers pay the engine companies to place these ads on their pages. Every time someone clicks on one of these ads the engine company gets paid. Pretty slick eh. But you ain't seen nothing yet. The engines, in order to get more traffic to these ads, pays affiliates to place these ads on their websites. You see them all the time. Ads by Google for instance. There are probably some on this page. Now, every time someone clicks on one of the ads on a website, the advertiser pays the search engine and the engine pays the website owner, called an affiliate, a portion of the ad revenue.

The magic of the internet. You can search the internet for free, except of course for what you pay your local cable company for access. Some very complicated machinery finds just what you are looking for. And business people are able to promote their products and others are able to make a profit form those services. Just as with the legal system in the U.S., the search engine system is not perfect but is still the best system available and works very well.
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