Meta Search: Meta search refers to a type of search engine which pulls top-ranked results from multiple search engines, rearranging them into a new, single list of results. In some cases, however, meta search data will be organized by the original search engine. Meta search engines are based on the premise that the Internet is too large to be indexed by any one search engine, and that more comprehensive search results can be obtained by searching several and combining the results. This also saves users time that might otherwise have been spent conducting several searches with different services. Meta search engines are also known to produce better search results.
Meta search engines operate by using a virtual database, instead of compiling a physical database or catalog of the Internet. When a user makes a search request, the meta search engine submits the search to several other databases, then collects and compiles the results according to an algorithm. As a result, no meta search engine is alike. Mamma, MetaCrawler and SavvySearch were some of the earliest meta search engines.