How Does a Search Engine Operate (The Basics)

Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the most used search engines. That I know of. The numbers of searches done per day, on just Google, are astounding! I’ll include a link to an article below. It is definitely worth the read, to see those numbers.

OK, let me get back on track here. This will be a short article, that hopefully, having you understand how search engines work. Search engines are where people go to for answers, understanding, information, to discover, explain, etc. If you don’t have an answer, need more information, or don’t know how, just type it into a search engine, and walla.

How does a search engine operate?  Well, let me tell you below. And know that I got all of this information from a search engine. Imagine that, lol.

There Are Three Major Functions

Without these functions, I doubt that a search engine would work. And probably deliver misinformation. Or take longer to find whatever answers you’re seeking.

Search engines main functions are:

  1. Crawl
  2. Index
  3. Rank

And I will break these down, in hopes that you and I can understand and learn from this. Yes, I am a total newbie to this information, so I am learning as well.

The Process

Crawling is when robots, also know as spiders are sent out by search engines to look for and find updated content. And new content. Links find this content. Content could be an image, PDF, video, web page, etc. These robots/spiders crawl from page to page.

become your own boss today, work from homeFor example, Google bots/robots/spiders start by fetching/getting a couple or so web pages, follow any links that they find on those pages for any new URLs.  When they come across any new content, they add it to their index, which is called Caffeine. Where it can later be retrieved when someone is searching for information/answers/etc. Caffeine is an enormous database where these URLs are stored. This database will decide if any of the new content is worthy and valuable enough for when people do their searches’.

People search, search engines look through their database, to come up with the closest match to the searches’ inquiry. The more this information is searched for and delivered, it will determine the ranking of the web page, even the website.

If you have a blog or a website, you can be assured that your pages are being crawled and possibly indexed. I won’t go into much detail here now, but keep a lookout for a more in-depth article on this subject that may appear in the future.

Crawling, indexing and ranking are very important to those that write content regularly. And it can affect how well your site is doing, or how well it’s not doing. Bookmark my website so that you can later return to find my new article.

Wrapping This Up

I hope that this little article helped you learn how a search engine works. It helped me. But there is so much more information on this topic alone. I probably could get at least two more articles. I’m writing articles on topics that I would like to know more about myself.

Won’t you please let me know in my comments section, what it is you would like to learn most about on this topic, that wasn’t already covered? Any ideas are always welcomed. Or just give me a shout out, I always love hearing from my readers!


* “Are You Familiar with Keywords?”


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