Understanding the Differences Between Web Browser and Search Engine
The internet and its benefits have made our lives much easier than we could have ever imagined. The whole world is at our fingertips and we can simply search for any topic that comes to mind and get thousands of articles related to it. This is mostly done using a web browser and a search engine. Many of you may be confused at this point regarding the difference between the two; because many people consider the browser and the search engine to be the same technology. However, these two are different but undoubtedly related to each other.
What is a search engine and web browser?
In order to understand the basic difference between them, it is essential to examine them separately first.
A web browser is in simple terms a software application used to browse the internet. A browser is actually what allows you to access the content you have been looking for. Using the web browser, you can access any web page you want, such as the one you are currently viewing.
How it works
Web browser features
Most web browsers are more or less the same with very few differences. Some features are common to all web browsers. Let’s take a look at some of these features:
- A browser window: As the name suggests, this is literally a window where you can view and navigate websites.
- An address bar: The address bar is the website address or web page link. The address bar is at the top right of the page.
- Navigation: These are the back and forward buttons that make it easy to navigate back and forth from pages, and the refresh button to refresh the page.
- Tabs: There are many tabs in the browser window to open additional web page.
- History: The History tab keeps track of your browsing history that you can refer to when needed.
List of popular web browsers
There are many popular browsers used by users all over the world. The most popular are Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Samsung Internet.
Search engines, on the other hand, are web services that help you search for your desired question. These are certain keywords that when you add them in search engines give you links to relevant websites that contain the required information.
How it works
Each webpage is ranked based on various keywords, and once you search for something, the search engine crawls through the ranks of various websites to find the most relevant ones for you. It’s like a library of books but virtual.
According to many researchers, there are around 1.8 billion websites on the internet and without the help of search engines it is impossible to find your relevant material.
Basic search engine formula
Although there are many complex methods of searching the Internet, all search engines follow the following basic formula:
- Crawling: Web crawlers scan the internet for URLs and keywords.
- Index: data is collected by crawlers, then organized into indexes
- Search: When users search for a query, the keywords are searched by the index to find the required result.
- Ranking: the results are then divided into rankings to display the results with the relevant ones at the top
List of popular search engines
Among the many search engines used by users around the world, Google remains in the lead with about 90% of the total share of search engines answering the question of which is the best search engine. There are other Internet search engines after Google, including Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu.
Likewise, there are many private search engines that have recently gained popularity. These search engines have become famous mainly because people search for search engines that do not track their personal data, as that is what private search engines promise. You can view a list of the best private search engines here. Among the many advantages of using a private search engine, the most important is that your privacy and data are protected from unauthorized access/use, which has become very common with traditional search engines.
Web browser VS search engine
The web browser and search engines are two separate but related technologies with many notable differences. Many people do not know or understand the difference between the two and regard them as the same when in reality they both have many important distinctions. Let’s look at some of the differences:
- Web browsers are software while search engines are websites.
- Web browsers are used to surf the Internet while search engines are used to find relevant websites
- Web browsers are usually pre-installed on computers and mobile phones, but search engines are not.
- Their functionalities are totally different
- HTML and other scripts are used to establish contact between the web server and the page while search engines discover and crawl web pages on the Internet.
- The many components of a web browser include user interface (UI), address bar, network component, data storage, etc. The search engine has three main parts, namely crawling, search index and algorithm.
- Graphical User Interface (GUI) is used by web browsers to display web content while search engines contain their own database through which the required results are generated.
- Browsers store cookies, history and cache unless the data is manually cleared by the user. Search engines, on the other hand, collect data from users’ search queries. However, there are few private search engines that refrain from letting data collectors access your search history.
Web browsers and search engines are therefore the main technology used by almost all of us in the world. Without understanding their true difference and true purpose, it is difficult to get the maximum benefits it otherwise offers. We hope this article has helped you understand their differences and also how to safeguard your private search history from unauthorized access i.e. using private search engines.