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What Would The Internet Be Without Search Engines?

Aug 17, 2007
Search engines have been around for almost as long as computers have been able to store large amounts of data. From their first days when they were sifting through large local archives, to their current ability to sift through the entire internet in seconds, search engines have shaped our computer using habits. Search engines and their popularity have many different implications for both the home user and for internet commerce in general. Here, I will discuss the search engine's effect on both of these areas.

For the average person, the most noticeable change from search engines has been on regular browsing habits. If you began using the internet after the modern conveniences were invented, then it may be hard for you to imagine what it was like before search engines abounded. If you wanted to find a site, you had to know the exact address, and punch it in correctly. If you want to do research on trees, the internet might not be the best place to go unless you know of any good tree sites. But now, that has all changed. To do research on trees, you can jump on your favorite search engine and immediately get hundreds of thousands of results. Where the internet used to be a tangled web, it is now sorted and organized to achieve the best results for the user.

These engines don't just make it easier to research. They give the users many other benefits. Since the search engines trawl through the whole internet regularly, they have all of the latest prices and deals on internet shopping. You can take advantage of this on search engines that specialize in products, combining info like prices and reviews from many different places. This is just one of the many ways that search engines pervasiveness can have a positive impact on the things we do on a day to day basis. Other ways include online phone and business directories, records databases.

A major impact of search engines has been on internet commerce. Nowadays, internet marketing doesn't focus on who has the flashiest web site or who has the best prices. Instead, if you are at the top of all of the major search engines (meaning that your site is displayed above the rest when the user searches for a relevant keyword) then you are almost sure to beat out your opponents. So, marketing companies do their best to crack the search algorithms. Every search engine judges sites based on many different factors, each of which is analyzed by their web crawlers. When someone makes a search, the engine displays sites that fulfill more of the factors at the top, where the user is more likely to see them.

The many factors that search engines use to judge sites include the text on the site, the design, the originality of the content, how many other pages link to that site, how many of those links are one-way, and many other factors. People who work in search engine optimization (or SEO) have a detailed understanding of all of the most important factors, and do their best to adjust the client's website to fulfill more of them. If they succeed, then the web site will show up at the top of the search results, and the client will immediately see an increase in sales. If not, they'll stay in the lower ranks of the search, and probably never be seen by potential visitors. It has become a cutthroat industry, with hundreds of sites competing for the top ranking in popular keywords such as insurance and casinos.

For the average person that does research on the internet, shops on the internet, and finds entertainment on the internet, life is a lot different with search engines. They are great for providing instant results no matter what you want, and they are also a proponent for the hugely flourishing internet economy of today.
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Search North America (United States and Canada) with Ezilon Search - http://search.ezilon.com
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