How do the Search Engines actually Work?

As a society, we have grown dependent on search engines. Today, it's easier than ever to run to the internet and find the answer to nearly any question that plagues us. From our most personal questions to the most basic, the search engines have become our main source for finding information. But have you ever stopped to wonder how they do it? How do search engines work?

Crawling

It all starts with the search engine spider. In order to deliver information to users, the search engines first have to know what information is out there. Each search engine has its own 'spider' which is a program that enables the search engines to 'crawl' or read the backend code of websites. (You can see the code of any website by right-clicking on the website and viewing the source.) The search engine spider travels from page to page and website to website by way of links, much like you would click links to navigate a website. The search engine spider then follow those links to travel to other pages and other websites.

TitanBOT, Titan Growth’s spider was built to copy the way that search engine spiders crawl and pull data.  Watch this video to learn more about how TitanBOT and search engine spiders in general crawl through websites.

 


Indexing

When the spider crawls pages, it copies the code and then 'indexes' that information. Indexing essentially means they save the information to the search engine's databases. Imagine that a search engine's database is a library and each website is a book. If the search engine spider crawls a website for the first time, it will add a new book to the library. In addition, if a current website adds new pages, the spiders will find and add those pages to the existing book in the library. Since search engines always want to deliver the newest and most relevant data, the search engine spiders are constantly crawling the web searching for new information and updates to add to the library.

From Their Database, To Your Desktop

So how is a search engine able to sort through its arsenal of data to bring you the answers you're looking for? The answer is algorithms. Search engines have an advanced set of algorithms in place, which are conditions that must be met in order for a specific piece of data to be taken from the library and shown to you. When you type a query into the search bar, the search engine looks through its massive database and uses algorithms to filter out what is relevant to your query. Based on their algorithms, the search engine will show you what they feel is most relevant to your question.

Where Does SEO Fit In?

SEO is a strategy which helps search engines to better identify websites and helps websites get in front of relevant searchers. By making sure the website's code is readable, easy to navigate and functional for the spiders, SEO's can maximize the amount of indexed pages. But just because your website is indexed doesn't mean that it will necessarily be shown in the search results; that's where SEO's come in again. SEO companies do a number of things to show a site's relevancy and convince the search engines that site should rank on the first page. This makes it much easier for search engines to realize what the website's pages are about so they can place the results in front of relative queries.

And that's how search engines work! A very condensed version of a very complex process; but thanks to search technology and algorithms we're able to get immediate answers to our searches anywhere in the world, with a simple click of the mouse. Search on, searchers!

 


Submitted by Erica Machin, Titan Growth


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