Do You Know How Search Engine Works?


Let’s start with the basics. As we all know by now, the web is flooded with information. It has tons (and tons) of websites, information, content, video, images, ect, that makes us really happy to look at. Now, if you think about it for just a moment, there needs to be some type of order “behind the scenes”, so when users type in a keyword (or several keywords), they will receive precise results (thus, leading them to feel super satisfied). Correct? Correct!

This blog is dedicated to explaining how the search engine works:

Type in keyword = Satisfied results

Well, isn’t this exciting?? You’re finally getting the answers you’ve been looking for!

Think of the web as one MASSIVE database. This “database” is unique, due to its 3 major functions.

The 3 major functions (as mentioned above):

1. Crawling:

Imagine you go on the computer, type in a keyword on lets say “googles” search box, and click on a site that you think might interest you. The first thing you do (probably) is scan the site quickly. That means you search the page title, images, keywords, and possibly other pages it links to.

Well that is EXACTLY what crawling does. Instead of a person (you), going to the computer to scan the site, a automated bot — also known as a spider (crawler), does the same thing you would essentially be doing. It is obviously, much quicker than any human, and it’s main goal is to look for keywords and then categorize the site accordingly. I hope this is making sense?

2. Indexing:

Basically, after Mr. spider scans the page, it then thinks to itself “hmmm.. very interesting site.. I noticed that the main keywords they use throughout the whole site is “Jewelry” (let’s just pretend here for a moment)”. So it takes that site and chucks it into the “Jewelry” section of the database, and that my friend, is called indexing.

If that doesn't make sense, well maybe this next example will make it more clear to you. Do you remember back in the day, walking down the aisle of a bookstore (or library)? These stores were divided into sections, according to what the book was about. For example; sports, sci fi, romantic, comics ect… Right! So, that is exactly how indexing works. The spider has recently scanned a gazillion sites (content, images, video ect) and it then needs to decide which section to put it in, similar to that store with books. Same same, but different.

3. Ranking:

You are probably asking yourself, then what? Excellent question! The very last step is the fun part. Now that the site has been crawled and indexed, it is then time to rank the page.

The search engine employs mathematical equations (algorithms) in order to rank the site to “relevancy and popularity”, which is done by (according to Moz):

  1. It returns only those results that are relevant (or useful) to the searcher’s query.
  2. It ranks those results according to the popularity of the websites serving the information.

Bottom line: the more popular a site, page, or document, the more valuable the information it contains must be.

So there you have it. A in depth explanation of how a search engine works!

Hope to see you guys next week for our weekly blog meetings!