What Is the Difference Between a Meta Crawler & a Search Engine?


It can be difficult to choose which of the many search engines to use when you want to look up information. But meta crawler websites such as MetaCrawler.com, Momma.com and Dogpile.com let you see the results from several search engines at once.


  • Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! are independent websites that use their own algorithms and programs to search the Web and create their own set of results. Meta crawler websites compile several Web search engine results and list them for a more comprehensive search.


  • Google searches can find websites that Yahoo! doesn't, and vice versa. So instead of searching both sites and comparing, a person can search meta crawler websites and see results from both as well as others, including Ask.com and Bing. The listing shows what search engines picked up on that particular website.


  • Meta crawler sites have many of the same search functions as the other Web search engines, including being able to search for videos, pictures and news. The meta crawler just creates a composite list using all relevant results from major search engines and discarding duplicates.

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  • Photo Credit search icon image by rgbspace from Fotolia.com
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