As in the contribution to the history of the Internet already described, the Internet is a network of computers. At first sight it looks like a confusing ball of electronic traces.
On these traces, electrical impulses are moved and nobody except of a computer software can see the disposition they have. Depending on the specific software being applied to this data, it transforms to images, text, music, or even visible pages of the World Wide Web (WWW). The presentation to the user is done with the help of a web browser. To complete the confusion, sometimes the content displayed on the screen with the help of a browser is called "Internet Sites". It is rather the name, Web Pages.
Let us repeat just in order to clarify it once more:
On the basis of the Internet, there are various services such as e-mail, chat or even the WWW. Of course a search engine is not looking upon your pages, just as you see them on the screen. This does not work at all. We take a different image to help us understand the procedure. There are no Web Pages within the meaning of screen pages, sent through the network. Just as music is not broadcasted through the air from the sender to the radio, radio waves are transmitted and transformed to music in your radio. You have a player - your computer, converting the transmitted data using the browser into a readable, visible or audible format.
A search engine is not working through the individual services on the Internet, because in the above explained sense, it is itself a service on the network, querying the data level and processing the results. The search engine has small software robots, which continuously scan the Internet and tilt the data into a huge data pot.
The image of small robots tracing the data field fits very good. Robots (also called spider or crawler) run around on the net and harvest. At home the farmer is looking after what has been harvested and everything is sorted from other helpers. These sorter are called “parser and indexer”. And at some point the farmer presents the result of the harvest to the customer, best matched to their requests.
That was the visual representation. Now we get concrete and unfortunately also somewhat technical.
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