An explanation of how search engines work, using the example of a bear searching for honey in the woods. A search engine uses web crawlers to find information and send a copy of each page back. This is compared to bees flying through the woods and looking at each tree. Algorithms are used to find the best match and then the sites are ranked according to many factors including how well the site is written, how frequently it is used and how popular it is. The algorithms are like the bees searching for the best honey.

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Teach

Children could be asked to use a search engine to research information for a new topic or project. They could note down how many results each search brings up. If they word the search term slightly differently, do different results come back? Discuss why this could happen.