Search engines vs browsers: got an address?

A question has come to light from several Plant Engineering readers about the difference between a search engine and an Internet browser -- what is the function of each? The purpose of searching via search engines, such as Yahoo! (www.yahoo.

03/01/1998


A question has come to light from several Plant Engineering readers about the difference between a search engine and an Internet browser -- what is the function of each?

The purpose of searching via search engines, such as Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com), Altavista (www.altavista.digital.com), Excite (www.excite. com), HotBot (www.hotbot.com), and Webcrawler (www.webcrawler.com), is to find a website for something you don't know the Internet address for; or to find out what's out there (many items) on the Internet and World Wide Web about a specific subject or category.

It should not be used if you know the address of the website you seek. You should not type an Internet address into any search engine, because you already know the address. You do not need to search for it.

A web browser is the program you use to move around on the World Wide Web. You need a web browser to use a search engine.

If you know where the website is located -- that is, when someone gives you an Internet address (or what also is known as a URL, uniform resource locator) -- you can go directly to your Internet browser (for example, Netscape or Internet Explorer) and type the address in the Location or Address box. Then press return and the browser will retrieve the address you have requested.





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