the main differences between a search engine and a web browser

What are the main differences between a search engine and a web browser? Many people search the internet and browse the web but don’t know the difference between the two. Don’t get confused, there are differences between a search engine and a web browser. Let’s get started!

What Is A Search Engine?

Explained: Search Engine And Web Browser [5 Differences]

Search Engine: A search engine is a kind of website through which users can search the content available on the Internet. For this purpose, users enter the desired keywords into the search field. Then the search engine looks through its index for relevant web pages and displays them in the form of a list. The Internet is a huge source of information and resources. To access the resource from the Internet there are some kinds of software you need to use, this software is known as a Search Engine.

List Of Top 12 Best Search Engines In The World

1. Google 
Google Search Engine is the best search engine in the world and it is also one of the most popular products from Google. Almost 70 percent of the Search Engine market has been acquired by Google. The tech giant is always evolving and looking to improve the search engine algorithm to provide the best results to the end-user. Although Google appears to be the biggest search engine, as of 2015 YouTube is now more popular than Google (on desktop computers).

2. Bing  
Bing is Microsoft’s answer to Google and it was launched in 2009. Bing is the default search engine in Microsoft’s web browser. At Bing, they are always striving to make it a better search engine but it’s got a long way to go to give Google competition. Microsoft’s search engine provides different services including image, web, and video search along with maps. Bing introduced Places (Google’s equivalent is Google My Business), this is a great platform for business to submit their details to optimize their search results.

3. Yahoo 
Yahoo & Bing compete more with each other than with Google. A recent report on tells us that Yahoo has a market share of 7.68 percent. Although a leader as a free email provider, this is declining significantly though with their recent acknowledgment that User Details & Passwords were hacked last year.

4.  Baidu  
Baidu is the most used search engine in China and was founded in Jan 2000 by Chinese Entrepreneur, Eric Xu. This web search is made to deliver results for websites, audio files, and images. It provides some other services including maps, news, cloud storage, and much more.

5. AOL is also among the top search engines. These are the guys that used to send out CD’s which you’d load onto your PC to install their browser and modem software. Once the pre-eminent player they now have a market share of 0.59 percent. Verizon Communication bought AOL for $4.4 billion. It was started back in 1983 as Control Video Corporation. It was named America Online in 1991 and in 2009 as AOL Inc. AOL is a global mass media company which is based in New York. The company also provides advertising services as AOL Advertising, AOL mail, and AOL Platform.

Founded in 1995,, previously known as Ask Jeeves. Their key concept was to have search results based on a simple question + answer web format. It is a question & answer community where you can get the answers to your question and it integrates a large amount of archive data to answer your question. Because of this dependency on archived and active user contributions, the results will not be as current as those you get in Google, Bing, and Yahoo. They’ve tried to counter where their resources don’t have the answer they take help from a third-party search engine. Interestingly they don’t name who this is.

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7. Excite 

Excite is not widely known but is one that still gets into the top 10. Excite is an online service portal that provides internet services like email, search engine, news, instant messaging, and weather updates. This also provides us with the latest trends, topics, and search for phrases.

8. DuckDuckGo
DuckDuckGo is a popular search engine known for protecting the privacy of users. Unlike they are quite open about who they use to generate search results; they’ve partnered with Yahoo, Bing, and Yummly. It was founded back in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg in California and its revenue comes from the Yahoo-Bing search alliance network and Affiliates.

9. Wolfram Alpha
Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge search engine that does not give the list of documents or web pages as search results. Results are based on facts & data about that query. Their mission statement is to make all systematic knowledge computable and broadly accessible. Launched in 2009, they now have a Pro solution designed with pricing for Students and Educators. Much as it’s targeted, it’s an awesome tool for the right market.

10. Yandex 
Launched in 1997, Yandex is the most used search engine in Russia. Yandex also has a great presence in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Turkey. It provides services like Yandex Maps, Yandex Music, online translator, Yandex Money, and many other services. 

12. – December 2016 UPDATE: ChaCha ceased trading due to declining advertising revenues is a human-guided search engine and was founded in 2006. You can ask anything in its search box and you will be answered in real-time. It also provides mobile search and marketing services. You can also install its mobile apps on iPhone, iPad, and Android.

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Components Of Search Engine

  • Crawler: Crawlers are software programs sometimes referred to as bots. It regularly scans the websites automatically for URLs, keywords, and links in order to discover new updates. The crawler can follow the links present on some other webpage.
  • Index: As we know, the Crawler continuously scans the websites, it develops an index of URLs, links, and keywords to make the search results more effective.
  • Search Algorithm: The search algorithm is the complete mechanism behind the whole searching process. It is working by searching for the index and finding the most suitable web pages by matching keywords that are searched by the users.

Search Engine, Operations Involved

  • The user first loads the website of the search service provider in the browser.
  • The search engine provides the search box to enable the user to type the keyword or keyphrase that the user wants to search.
  • After that, the user has to click on the search button.
  • The client software is responsible for requesting the search service to find the requested topic web pages.
  • In order to accomplish this task, it employs the string matching techniques for choosing the web pages comprised of the search results that are similar to the requested keyword or keyphrase.
  • As a result, it displays the web pages that have the URLs list, and these URLs are hyperlinks linking to the searched topic.
  • Now, this is up to the user what he or she wants to select.

What Is A Web Browser 

Explained: Search Engine And Web Browser [5 Differences]

The web browser is an example of application software that is developed to retrieve and view the information from web pages or HTML files present on the web servers. The first web browser was invented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 and the very first graphical web browser was developed in 1993 which is named the mosaic. After that, various web browsers were developed. Some of them are navigator which is developed by Netscape communication.

Examples Of Web Browsers

Internet ExplorerInternet Explorer

Internet Explorer (IE) is a product from software giant Microsoft. This is the most commonly used browser in the universe. This was introduced in 1995 along with Windows 95 launch and it has passed Netscape popularity in 1998.

You can download a latest version of this browser by clicking here → Download Internet Explorer

Internet ExplorerGoogle Chrome

This web browser is developed by Google and its beta version was first released on September 2, 2008 for Microsoft Windows. Today, chrome is known to be one of the most popular web browser with its global share of more than 50%.

You can download a latest version of this browser by clicking here → Download Google Chrome

Internet ExplorerMozilla Firefox

Firefox is a new browser derived from Mozilla. It was released in 2004 and has grown to be the second most popular browser on the Internet.

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You can download a latest version of this browser by clicking here → Download Firefox

Safari BrowserSafari

Safari is a web browser developed by Apple Inc. and included in Mac OS X. It was first released as a public beta in January 2003. Safari has very good support for latest technologies like XHTML, CSS2 etc.

You can download a latest version of this browser by clicking here → Download Safari

Opera BrowserOpera

Opera is smaller and faster than most other browsers, yet it is full- featured. Fast, user-friendly, with keyboard interface, multiple windows, zoom functions, and more. Java and non Java-enabled versions available. Ideal for newcomers to the Internet, school children, handicap and as a front-end for CD-Rom and kiosks.

You can download a latest version of this browser by clicking here → Download Opera

Konqueror BrowserKonqueror

Konqueror is an Open Source web browser with HTML 4.01 compliance, supporting Java applets, JavaScript, CSS 1, CSS 2.1, as well as Netscape plugins. This works as a file manager as well as it supports basic file management on local UNIX filesystems, from simple cut/copy and paste operations to advanced remote and local network file browsing.

You can download a latest version of this browser by clicking here → Download Konqueror

Lynx BrowserLynx

Lynx is a fully-featured World Wide Web browser for users on Unix, VMS, and other platforms running cursor-addressable, character-cell terminals or emulators.

You can download a latest version of this browser by clicking here → Download Lynx

Characteristics Of A Web Browser


A web browser uses a graphical interface (point and click) which includes toolbar buttons provided for viewing a document and navigating through it, for performing manual refresh over a web page and stopping the ongoing download process.

There is an address bar, or search box is provided in the web browser where the user is required to type the address or URL of the website he/she wants to visit. It also enables the users to visit the other websites by just clicking the hyperlinks displayed on a webpage.

Page Style

It could be static or dynamic depending on the interactivity and the formatting. Static page styles contain ASCII text files formatted with the help of HTML. While the dynamic page style is developed using scripting languages such as JavaScript and VB Script and these are interactive in nature.


The protocols used by the web browsers are the TCP/IP and HTTP protocol where TCP/IP employed to implement the reliable data transfer within a network (and Internet). The purpose of the HTTP protocol is to let the user access or retrieve the webserver and download the HTML file.

Application integration

The web browsers are also competent in providing various services at one platform, the services like email, chat, and news. Therefore, we can also run these internet programs over web browsers, and for searching these, we use search engines.

The Main Differences Between A Search Engine And A Web Browser

Search EngineWeb Browser
A search engine is used to find the information in the World Wide Web and displays the results at one place.Web Browser uses the search engine to retrieve and view the information from web pages present on the web servers.
Search engine is intended to gather Information regarding several URL’s and to maintain it.Web Browsers are intended to Display the web page of the current URL available at the server.
A search engine contains its own databaseNo database is required in Web browser. It contains only cache memory to store cookies.
Example of famous search engines are: Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckgo, Baidu Internet Explorer.Some of the widely used web browsers are: Mozilla Firefox, Netscape Navigator, and Google Chrome.


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