Indexing

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What Does Indexing Mean?

In general, indexing refers to the organization of data according to a specific schema or plan. In IT, the term has various similar uses including, among other things, making information more presentable and accessible.

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Techopedia Explains Indexing

One example of indexing is the legacy Microsoft Indexing Service, which maintained an index of files on a computer or in an operating system environment. Another example is database indexing, which involves creating an index for a database structure to help expedite retrieval of data.

One common type of indexing in IT is called “search engine indexing.” Here, IT tools aggregate and interpret search engine data, again, to streamline data retrieval. This type of indexing is also sometimes called Web indexing. IT experts explain that indexing helps to make searches less labor intensive — without an index, the search engine would have to search every document at its disposal equally, whereas with an index, much of this work is eliminated.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.