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Difference between Search Engine and Subject Directory

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1. Search Engine:
A search engine, as the name suggests, is defined as an application designed to carry out web searches and enables users to locate information on WWW. Search engines are machine-driven and are used to find resources such as web pages, Usenet forums, videos, etc., assigned to individual words.

Examples: Yahoo search, ASN, Live search, Google search, etc.

2. Subject Directory:
Subject Directory, as the name suggests, is defined as a collection of websites that include organized browsable subject categories and subcategories. Directories are human-driven and therefore can deliver higher quality content. They are considered best for browsing and searching of more general nature and may include a search engine for searching their database.

Examples: Yahoo directory, Open directory, Google directory, etc.

Difference between Search Engine and Subject Directory:

S. No.Parameters

Search Engine

 Subject Directory  

1.BasicsIt is an online tool that is used to locate or search for information on WWW.  It is an online database of websites and online information set up by subject and category.  
2.Maintained and reviewedIt is generally maintained and reviewed by computer robotics.  It is created, maintained, and reviewed by human editors or experts.  
3.Allows usersIt allows users to find or locate information on the internet using phrases and keywords. It allows users to find or locate information on the internet using hierarchy.  
4.Search and DisplayIt locates and displays relevant information based on formulas and algorithms using an automated software program.  Directories are organized by human beings who discover new websites and relevant information by exploring the internet themselves and by reviewing submitted websites.  
5.UsageThey are used mainly for research, shopping, and entertainment.  They are used mainly to search broad topics, current events, organization or business homepages, etc.  
6.SizeThey are bigger than directories as it includes billions of web pages.  They tend to be smaller than search engine databases. 
7.ApplicationIt is considered good to look for specific or complex information and its advanced features allow to refine the search and improve results. It is considered best if one wants to browse broad topics and it can give a good idea about the amount and type of web-based information on the topic.  
8.Searching by userUser search content or information on database of search engine.  User search only websites included and identified by directory.   
9.Indexing of websiteIn order to index a Website, search engines automatically collect information about it.Directories demand that a Website submission be listed in the directory.
10.ListingA search engine automatically lists regardless of content quality. Search engines employ specific algorithms to filter and deliver the most relevant and valuable information to users.To assure quality, websites must meet certain requirements before being featured in a directory, 
11.FeesSearch engines do not charge a fee to publishers.Some directories charge a fee for listing in their directory.


Last Updated : 21 Jun, 2022
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