In a meta-search engine, you submit keywords in its search box, and it transmits your search simultaneously to several individual search engines and their databases of web pages. Within a few seconds, you can get back results from all the search engines queried. Meta-search engines do not own a database of Web pages; they send your search terms to the databases maintained by search engine companies.
An up-and-coming Meta search engine is Vivisimo. Other well-known meta search engines are IxQuick and Dogpile.
Many internet users use Meta search engines as a convenient way to collate the best results from many different sources. As a matter of fact, many user don't even realize they are using Meta search engines. A general trend has developed in the last couple of years, whereby some search engines will combine a number of different sources for their results. For example, Freeserve currently uses Overture and Yahoo! to enhance its listing results.