If Rip Van Winkle woke from his 100 year nap today, one of the many, many things at which he would marvel, I am sure, would be the Internet. What possible frame of reference, could he conceivably have for understanding this modern miracle of science and technology? I cannot imagine. How could anyone ever explain it to him?
And, if eventually someday he came to some basic, primitive understanding of electricity, and TV, and then the Internet – then possibly someday he might ask, “Please, would you please tell me what this search engine thingamajig is?” And, I would.
A search engine is simply an electronic tool for finding something on the Internet.