Think of metasearch engines as the middleman between you and a large group of search engines. They interpret your search, gather results and report back to you with recommended Web pages. While they are not always perfect, they can make searching for information on the Web easier.

Unlike search engines, metasearch engines do not have their own database of Web pages. Instead, they transmit your search to a group of search engines simultaneously. Metasearch engines interpret the search you enter into a format that each search engine will understand. They retrieve results from the search engines and create a single list of sites. Some of the more advanced ones are able to eliminate duplicate pages and compile theresults. Others rank sites to give you ones that best match your terms or they may organize the results into categories.

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Modified 2005 from The University of Texas at Austin's TILT by members of the LSU Libraries Reference Department.
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