1. Before: what do I want to find?

1.7 Where can I search for it?

1.7.1. Search engines

We just mentioned search engines or searchers (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) as the most frequent tool to search for and find information. When we write a word to be searched, we start a process in which hundreds of millions of virtual interactions are activated in order to find, in fractions of a second, satisfactory results. There are three processes behind this technology:

  1. Small computer programmes (bots) are constantly browsing the sites in the Web (crawling) and follow the links they find.
  2. While crawling, the search engine indexes, codes and arranges the files it found using keywords. In this way, the search is done on previously arranged material, which makes it much easier to find things fast.
  3. Search engine algorithms sort pages according to their relevance (which is determined by the number of visits, the publication date, the links to external references, etc.) and show at the top of the results list those they consider to be most relevant. Website coders try above all to keep their websites in the top positions, to improve their visibility and presence. Because of this interference (in which money is usually involved), the first results may not always be the most relevant, highest-quality ones. We will need to avoid getting carried away by the order in which the results are provided, and contrast the information with other results.