Most people have a common misconception that the Internet and World Wide Web are the same as the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, there are many subtle differences between the two terms. While the Internet is a global network comprised of computers, the World Wide Web is an extremely common application used online and it uses the hypertext transfer protocol, or http, to navigate across different websites.
Internet vs. World Wide Web
The Internet is a comprehensive network of computers and was conceptualized during 1969 by the ARPA or Advanced Research Projects Agency. The World Wide Web is much newer compared to the Internet and was initialized during the 1990s. The World Wide Web is a collection of web pages following the http protocol that can be accessed via the Internet from any part of the world. The http protocol is a kind of language that is used on the Internet in order to transfer data and communicate. This is an application used on the Internet and all pages that are part of the World Wide Web begin with http://www with www being an abbreviation for World Wide Web. The World Wide Web is a model for sharing information. It represents a method of accessing content through the Internet. In order to understand the true working of search engines, it is crucial to know the differences between the Internet and the World Wide Web. Search engines search websites available within the World Wide Web and not other sites located across the Internet.
Search Engines vs. Directories
Search engines are essentially sites that have been computer-generated. These sites are primarily found through computer programs that are used to crawl across the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web is said to have as many as 15-30 billion pages. Pages in a search engine do not lend themselves to browsing and they can only be searched. Each search engine is a collection of millions of pages. The primary function of a search engine is to gather information about a topic or phrase searched by the user. There are two kinds of search engines, namely crawler-based and human-powered. A crawler type search engine will gather listings and results automatically while a human-powered search engine will find listings based on descriptions provided by the user. Only exact description matches are searched for. Search engines help users find specific information while directories contain a hierarchical structure of organizing database content. A directory can be dedicated to a particular geographic location or subject. Most directories are fee-based and to be added to the directory, a company will need to make a payment for it. A search engine provides quicker access to information while a directory will provide industry-relevant or niche information. Directories are also great tools to help locate information pertaining to a particular geographical location since they are categorized based on location or specific, niche subjects.