There are two components to the online world:
Understanding WHERE to look will help you "think before you click"
|Defined*||A collection of globally distributed text and multimedia documents and files and other network services linked in such a way as to create an immense electronic library from which information can be retrieved quickly by intuitive searches.|
* Source: The Columbia Encyclopedia via CREDO Reference.
|Defined*||"Comprises all the information sources available on the World Wide Web that are overlooked by conventional search engines, including Google. It is the fastest growing category of new information sources on the Web."|
* Source: Devine, J., & Egger-Sider, F. (2004). Beyond Google: The Invisible Web in the Academic Library. Journal Of Academic Librarianship, 30(4), 265.
To answer your information need:
|Use the Invisible Web to:||Use the World Wide Web to:|
Michael K. Bergman wrote the first white paper to describe the Invisible Web:
"Searching on the Internet today can be compared to dragging a net across the surface of the ocean. While a great deal may be caught in the net, there is still a wealth of information that is deep, and therefore, missed. The reason is simple: Most of the Web's information is buried far down on dynamically generated sites, and standard search engines never find it."
-- Michael K. Bergman, 2000. "The Deep Web: Surfacing Hidden Value" - BrightPlanet.Com
Sometimes it is easier to understand the relationship between the "open" and "invisible" (or deep) Web by seeing it visually. Here are two different interpretations of the relationship to help you better understand the difference between the two: