Search Engine Vs Web Browser – Don’t Mix up These Terms Again

Search Engine Vs Web Browser
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As the web continues to grow day by day, there are some misconceptions which even most of you would agree. The basic web related topics are often thrown around without a proper understanding. Well, I will ask you one question; distinguish between web browser and search engine.  They both are used to show desired website links when you search for even a single keyword in the search bar of web browser. But do you have a clear idea of how they help you to get the relevant information within seconds, if not then this article is written for you. Today, I will give you a deep understanding of these two topics and after the end of this article you will be more confident to distinguish between the two. Let’s dive in.

What is search engine?

A search engine is a type of website through which users can search the content over the web. For this purpose, users enter the keywords in the search bar of web browser. Then search engine looks through its index for desired web pages and displays the list of them into the user’s screen. The internet has numerous amounts of information and to access that information there are several kinds of software available, this software is known as search engine. Some of the widely used search engines are – Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckgo etc.

 Three main components of search engine are:


Crawlers are software programs which are also called as bots. Its work is to regularly scan the websites automatically for URLs, keywords, and links in order to discover the new updates. The crawler can visit the links present on some other webpage.

Not all crawlers of search engines are equal; google uses its own crawling techniques, yahoo, DuckDuckgo uses their own methods. Googlebot starts out by retrieving a few web pages, and then follows the links on those web pages to find new URLs. By hopping along this path of links, the crawler finds a new content and adds it to their index called Caffeine. Caffeine is a massive database of discovered URLs so later when the searcher is seeking information the content on the URLs will be taken and shown by the web browser.


As now you know, crawler continuously scans the websites; it develops an index of URLs, links and keywords to make the search results more effective. Indexing is a process of storing information into the massive database so when you search the same information again, that index will be used to fetch results quickly than before.

Search algorithm:

The search algorithm is the complete mechanism behind process of searching. It is working by searching for the index and finding the most relevant web pages by matching keywords that are searched by the users.

Search engine ranking:

When you search for the content, the search engine ranks the results in an order on the basis of relevance which is known as ranking. In simpler terms, you think that higher the website is ranked; the more relevant the search engine believes that site is to the query.

What is Web browser?

The web browser is an example of application software, which was designed to retrieve and view the desired information from web pages or HTML files stored on web servers. The first web browser is developed by Sir Tim Berners – Lee in 1990 and the very first graphical web browser was developed in 1993 which is named as mosaic. Many web browsers were introduced later and some of them are navigator which is developed by Netscape communication, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Apple safari, Mozilla Firefox, Opera. Web browser is used to access and view the web content and search engine is in use when you searches for the content and fetching of web server data needs to be performed.

Also Read – What is URL?

Characteristics of Web browser:

  • Web browser is a graphical user interface.
  • It contains the shows you a search box where you can type the address or URL.
  • Page style can be static or dynamic; it depends upon the interactivity and the formatting.
  • TCP/IP and HTTP protocols are used by web browser to show the desired web pages.

Other uses of a web browser:

Web browser is not only responsible to view the information in presentable form but also provides you various features like browser search history, bookmark, cache memory, incognito mode, favorites and  many other services like developer tools through which you can even check web page details of currently opened web page. So, it offers a lot more than a search engine.

Also Read – Difference between HTTP and HTTPS

Difference between Search engine and Web browser

Search engine and web browsers are the software which gives you the relevant information when you search for it. They both are not the same because web browser gives you the user interface where you can type your request and the requested data is fetched by search engines using crawlers, searching algorithms etc.

Have a look over its tabular difference shown below.

Basis Search engine Web browser
Definition A search engine is the software which finds the desired information from World Wide Web (WWW) and displays the results at once in web browser. Web browser uses search engine to fetch and view the information from HTML files or web pages stored on web server.
Designed for Search engine is designed to gather information regarding several URL’s and to maintain it. Web browsers are designed to display the web page of requested information from the web server.
Database A search engine has its own database. Web browser do not need a database, it uses client machine’s memory as it only stores cookie in cache memory.
Examples Most widely used search engines are – Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckgo, Baidu Internet Explorer. Most popular web browsers are – Mozilla Firefox, Netscape navigator, and Google Chrome.


Search engine and web browsers are the software which provides you the requested information when you search for it by typing in the search bar. They both are not the same because web browser gives you the user interface where you can type your request and the requested data is fetched by search engines using crawlers, searching algorithms etc. Crawlers the also known as bots which works by crawling or scanning every related website for keywords and shows the most relevant website links in form of list in the web browser. Indexing is performed to sort the website URLs in relevance order and this way fetching is performed in fast and efficient manner. 

Any thoughts on how the web pages are sorted based on their relevance order?

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