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Search Engines, Spiders and Web Crawlers

By Mathew Schwartz
May 8, 2000 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Definition

Search engine: Software that provides Web site addresses that contain one or more terms or keywords specified in a user's query. The term search engine is sometimes used, incorrectly, to mean a manual index of the Web compiled by editors.

Web crawler: The part of a search engine that moves around the Web, copying every page it finds and indexing terms and names; also called spiders.

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