|Q: What's an Internet search engine?
A: An Internet search engine is a tool that web surfers use to search the Internet. Think of it as a Yellow Pages for Internet web sites, but much more advanced. People type in words or phrases for which they wish to search, and the search engine returns a list of web sites that match that word or phrase. For example, a search for "online bookstore" might return web sites like Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble's Web site. A search engine is a critical tool in finding information, products and businesses on the web.
Q: How do I get to a search engine?
A: Each search engine has its own web site that you can visit in order to perform searches. Search engines are also built into AOL and into web browsers like Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Q: What's the difference between a Search Engine and a Web Directory?
A: A search engine searches all the sites on the web (or all the sites that it knows about on the web, to be more precise). A directory only includes sites that have been reviewed and accepted by a person. Search engines generally will find more sites than directories, because search engines automatically add more and more sites to their databases as they find them. But directories generally have higher quality listings because these sites have been screened and reviewed by a human being. Some search engines, like Google, Looksmart and Yahoo combine a directory with a search engine for comprehensive search results.