How Do Search Engines Work In 2020? What You Need To Know
Crawling billions of pages by the use of web crawlers is basically how the search engines work. You could as well call them, search engine spiders or bots
When a web page is created newly, a search engine spider then move around the web by following links on the new web page to discover more pages
how do search engines work?
Just a good number of SEOs really understand how the search engine works.
But understanding how search engines work is a major key!
Because one needs to understand how the search system works to try and create potentials around it!
You can’t fix a broken relationship without knowing what the problem is in the first place.. and the same applies to the search engines.
You actually can’t totally get the knowledge of how the search engine algorithm operates.
But, I’m going to take you through how search engines work step by step. Let’s start with the search engine basics to build up your mind for a successful SEO career.
How Google Works & How They Rank Your Page
- What Is Crawling?
- What Is Indexing?
- Why Do Some Pages Show Up Higher Than Others?
- How Other Search Engines Work And How They Differ
- How Amazon Works
- What Do Search Engines Crave for?
Google’s search engine works around these two main functions: Crawling and Indexing
Search engines use their own search algorithms, so if you appear in the top positions in the search engine results page for one search engine this doesn’t necessarily mean you will for all search engines.
There is an algorithm used by different search engines, so even if you appear in the top position in the search engine results page for a single search engine that doesn’t mean it will apply for the other search engines.
search engine place websites on their pages with different criteria based on content quality, user experience, and link building. Now, understanding what exactly search engine demands are paramount to your website’s success in the SERPS.
As we move on in this article, We would understand that Google is the search engine, a big player of many techniques, as we proceed.
And “to Google” is an official verb in the English dictionary.
Heck! The English dictionary has ‘to google’ as a verb.
As you can see Google dominates the search engine world. But how does the search engine we all know and love function?
Currently, Google has taken over the search engine space. So, how exactly does the search engine function?
By Crawling: Google “crawls the web” finding pages to add to their database using an algorithm
By Indexing: Then results are formatted or “indexed” and added to their database to show to queries of search engine users.
What Is Crawling?
When you enter a search query in the search engine, you might assume that Google hunts through the entire world wide web at that moment.
Now, when a search user enters a search query, Google doesn.t go through its entire system that exact moment but instead what really happens is that the well-developed search engine web crawlers have already compiled a massive database of pages and that’s where you are searching and not the entire world wide web.
The database is made up of pre-approved websites that Google has checked over and deemed safe for its users. So you won’t find anything shady from the ‘dark web’ for your search query when using Google.
This database comprises of vetted websites that Google deemed safe for its search users. So apparently “dark web” search users can’t find their dark pieces of stuff in google and search users not interested in those kinds of stuff won’t find such search queries.
Why does Google act this way?
They can access this database without any stress
There is a quick and more user-friendly experience
Google adds specific tags to its web pages and renders them as relevant search results
Crawling is where web crawlers or spiders made by Google move through the internet and add up pages to their massive database.
Check out the 2 main jobs of the web crawlers:
First, find new web pages to index
And then fish out information about each web page
But then, how do these crawlers find websites and get access to the information?
How Does A Google Web Crawler Work?
A typical spider web covers large areas when spun, and that’s how the world wide web technically behaves as it spreads across the world containing all the websites available on the internet in its www network.
The World Wide Web is composed of links also called hyperlinks or backlinks.
And search engine crawlers make use of these links to jump around the web and discover newly available content!
Once web crawlers discover a new page, they start feeding on all of the content and code of the page.
Now, the code being discovered by the web crawlers should be easy to read by google and interpreted. That’s why website owners’ should perform SEO (search engine optimization).
With the help of using a machine language from the search engine algorithm, the web crawlers work on its own to include discovered web pages to the google search index
Now, when the search engine web crawler finds a page and wants to add it to the database, then its time for the next stage which is indexing.
What Is Indexing?
For a website to be indexed to a database, it has to go through the crawling stage.
Indexing is where a search engine files away what’s been found and “tags” it.
Let’s say you’re interested in knowing how to book a flight.
You might go along to Google and enter the search query “how to book a flight”.
The search engine will search its database for the pages that match that search term:
(in a matter of seconds)
There are a number of factors that determine why those pages show up in that order.
These factors vary depending on the search engine you’re using for example Bing’s ranking factors are very different from Google’s.
First, you need to note that the “indexing” process is flexible and as websites grow, add new content or delete new/old content – it will be re-crawled and re-indexed to provide relevant results for the search queries.
You can get your web page indexed quicker by submitting your XML sitemap to Google Search Console.
Why Do Some Pages Show Up Higher Than Others?
Well, search engines work on an algorithm that determines the order the pages appear. As I mentioned earlier, that depends on a number of factors
There’s an algorithm calculation that is based on different factors that help the computer decide where each piece of content should rank.
With Google, the simplest way there is will be through the concept of web authority. In its very basic essence, the more “authority” a website has – the higher it ranks.
Let me explain it in more detail with a live example. If you wanted to learn how to make money through
That means of all the pages that relate to that topic, my site has the “most votes”
But how do websites get this “Authority”?
Well… “Authority” is otherwise known as the number of backlinks meaning that when one website links to another website, they are essentially “voting” for it to get authority
And for the most part, it’s these votes/backlinks that are driving the number #1 position in the search engine rankings.
It’s not quite as simple as that because not all “backlinks” are created equal. The bigger the site and the more well-known it is, the more weight their “backlink” carries.
If you were to get a link from a big authority website In your niche or any big media outlet, it would carry significantly more weight than a link from a brand new unestablished blog.
How Other Search Engines Work And How They Differ
How do other search engines work in comparison to Google?
Bing and Google are kinds of the same but different.
Many “web” search engines use (like Bing) similar search engine algorithms.
They will crawl and index web pages to use in their search results.
BUT they each have different ranking factors to consider which I will talk about in a minute.
Because there are also other types of search engines you should be aware of like-
These sites all work as search engines within themselves but each of these sites has millions of visitors we could tap into.
Which is another reason SEO isn’t dead!
And as long as search engines exist, we will be able to optimize for them.
How Amazon Works
Amazon is one of the world’s leading product search engines!
Amazon offers a gazillion number of products o their site and its own search engine algorithm have a single aim; which is showing the right products to the search intent of its customers.
Whilst this may sound like Google’s philosophy:
Google says, “What results most accurately answer the user query?”
Amazon says, “What products are the searcher most likely to buy?””
The huge difference between Google’s search engine is that google depends on spiders to discover and organize external results.
Whereas, Amazon’s search engines depend on internal results that are fully focused on serving their own self-interest.
Which means that they want to sell their products per customer
And Amazon does that by making sure the products you are most likely to buy, show up at the top of its search results.
They use many different factors to figure that out such as-
How many people have previously bought a product (the conversion rate)
How well it fits the needs of the buyer (the relevancy)
The previous actions of the buyer (what they are likely to want to buy this time)
The overall rating and satisfaction the product provides (how other buyers felt)
This information enables them to show the most buyable product at the top of the page.
And Amazon algorithm automatically optimizes results to make sure the perfect product is in front of me when it needs to be.
By using your wits, you can figure out how other search engines work by studying results
What Do Search Engines Want?
Most search engines have a goal in mind. When you understand what that goal is, manipulating them is much easier. They all want to meet the needs of their audience.
Taking time to observe and understand what a search engine wants for their users will make your life much easier as an SEO.
Because once you know that, all you have to do is optimize for that!
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