Report

Searching the World Wide Web

Science  03 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5360, pp. 98-100
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5360.98

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Abstract

The coverage and recency of the major World Wide Web search engines was analyzed, yielding some surprising results. The coverage of any one engine is significantly limited: No single engine indexes more than about one-third of the “indexable Web,” the coverage of the six engines investigated varies by an order of magnitude, and combining the results of the six engines yields about 3.5 times as many documents on average as compared with the results from only one engine. Analysis of the overlap between pairs of engines gives an estimated lower bound on the size of the indexable Web of 320 million pages.

  • * Also with the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.

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