Understanding Search Engines

What is the best search engine for searching? There really is no best, because each search engine "does its own thing." Search engines have not yet standardized in the same way many library catalogs and article databases have. As you search the Web, you may find yourself returning to the same search engine. Most people have a "favorite" search engine they tend to use, probably because they become familiar with its features and become more adept at finding what they want.

Even though search engines differ, some common characteristics are listed below. The best way to learn more about a particular search engine is to look at its help pages. Two sites are included under "External Links" that pull the most essential information from several search engine help pages.