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11 October, 2005

Search deeply

At the time of writing, Google is considered to have the largest search engine database, indexing about eight billion web pages.  However, it's estimated that the public web contains about 250 billion pages overall, and that's only the public web.  Something far more glamourous-sounding is the 'deep web', or 'invisible web', thought to be 500 times bigger than the directly searchable web.

The 'deep web' refers to:

the vast repository of information that search engines and directories donít have direct access to, like databases at university libraries, sites that require passwords to view, or sites that for some reason donít want search engines to crawl them.
That's a quote from Lifehacker's review of the subject, which goes on to explain how to gain access. The deep web doesn't necessarily exclude public visitors, itís just "a bit trickier to tap into".

Very William Gibson....

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