Among the search tools currently on the Web, search engines are the most well known thanks to the popularity of major search engines such as Google and Yahoo!.
While extremely successful, these major search engines do have serious limitations.
This book introduces large-scale metasearch engine technology, which has the potential to overcome the limitations of the major search engines.
Essentially, a metasearch engine is a search system that supports unified access to multiple existing search engines by passing the queries it receives to its component search engines and aggregating the returned results into a single ranked list.
A large-scale metasearch engine has thousands or more component search engines.
While metasearch engines were initially motivated by their ability to combine the search coverage of multiple search engines, there are also other benefits such as the potential to obtain better and fresher results and to reach the Deep Web. The following major components of large-scale metasearch engines will be discussed in detail in this book: search engine selection, search engine incorporation, and result merging.
Highly scalable and automated solutions for these components are emphasized.
The authors make a strong case for the viability of the large-scale metasearch engine technology as a competitive technology for Web search.