Does it really matter that most users seem to categorize all of the various search
tools that are available to them under the generic, and incorrect, name of search
engines? To my mind, at least, it used to - and still should. There really
are differences - differences that I used to happily devote an hour or more to
explaining, and then to a discussion of under which circumstances one particular
tool is preferable over another. I used to explain
that outside of class I didn't really care what terms people used, but while in
class, it was important to me that we distinguish between search engines and indexes.
I suggested that we classify both under the general term of search tools, to which
we could also add expert sites and portals. It made sense to me, but didn't seem
to sink in with my students. It you want to find something, you search for it,
right? And if you search for it, the tool you use is, by definition, a search
Go to: The tyranny of search.