Question:

What is the Invisible Web?

by Guest1608  |  12 years, 10 month(s) ago

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What is the Invisible Web?

 Tags: Invisible, Web

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  1. Brett
    Is it some kind of Area 52-ish, X-Files deal that only those with stamped numbers on their foreheads can access? Well, not exactly. The term "invisible web" mainly refers to the vast repository of information that search engines and directories don't have direct access to, like databases. Unlike pages on the visible Web (that is, the Web that you can access from search engines and directories), information in databases is generally inaccessible to the software spiders and crawlers that create search engine indexes.

  2. Guest404
    We can further simplify it as

    The "visible web" is what you can find using general web search engines. It's also what you see in almost all subject directories. The "invisible web" is what you cannot find using these types of tools.

    Here are some examples of material that remains hidden from general search engines:

    1. The Contents of Searchable Databases: When you search in a library catalog, article database, statistical database, etc., the results are generated "on the fly" in answer to your search. Because the crawler programs cannot type or think, they cannot enter passwords on a login screen or keywords in a search box. Thus, these databases must be searched separately.  

    2. Dynamically generated pages of little value beyond single use. Think of the billions of possible web pages generated by searches for books in library catalogs, public-record databases, etc. Each of these is created in response to a specific need. Search engines do not want all these pages in their web databases, since they generally are not of broad interest.

    3. Pages deliberately excluded by their owners. A web page creator who does not want his/her page showing up in search engines can insert special "meta tags" that will not display on the screen, but will cause most search engines' crawlers to avoid the page.
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