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Search engine interface and method of controlling client searches

Image Number 2 for United States Patent #6907423.

A method for controlling access provided to content files during an information search initiated by a client device and performed by a search engine. The method includes receiving a search request from the client. A modified search request is generated by applying a search profile for the user of the client device to the received search request. The modified search request is then routed to the search engine to apply search criteria in the modified search request to search engine collections populated from the content files. The user's search profile includes restrictions defining which of the search engine collections can be searched and how such collections can be searched. The search profile may be generated at the time the search request is received based on login information for the user of the client and based on stored user profile or account information. According to this method, the client is not provided direct access to the search engine and is particularly useful in client-server environments, such as clients with browsers linked to the Internet that search networked devices for information.

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