search engine

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search engine (plural search engines)

  1. (computing) An application that searches for, and retrieves, data based on some criteria, especially one that searches the Internet for documents containing specified words.
    • 1985, Geoffrey Neate, Memex: evaluation of a search engine, →OCLC, page 41:
      The MEMEX search engine with Textract software has been proved able to search the 1,251,521 records of the Pre-1920 Catalogue in four minutes.
    • 1998 April, Sergey Brin, Lawrence Page, “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine”, in Computer Networks and ISDN Systems[1], →DOI:
      It is clear that a search engine which was taking money for showing cellular phone ads would have difficulty justifying the page that our system returned to its paying advertisers. For this type of reason and historical experience with other media [Bagdikian 83], we expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of the consumers.


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