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How Do Search Engines Work?

How Do Search Engines Work?
Reading Time: 3 minutes


Search engines have become an integral part of our digital lives. Nearly everyone uses them every day, whether they’re looking for information or trying to buy a product or service. Search engines are used so often that it’s easy to forget how complex they are—and how many things can go wrong with them. How does a search engine work? In this article, we’ll explain how the main parts of search engines work and what challenges exist when you try to find something online.

How do search engines work?

Search engines use crawlers to find new web pages. A crawler is a program that searches the Internet for content, collects it and saves it on the search engine’s servers. The best example of this is Google, which uses its “Googlebot” (the name given to its spiders) every day to crawl through billions of pages looking for new ones so it can show them in its search results.

When you perform a search on Google, you’ll notice that not all websites appear in your results: only those deemed relevant by the algorithm are included. This means that if you want your site at the top of everyone else’s list when they type in keywords related to what your business does or sells then there are some things about SEO (search engine optimization) that will help you achieve this goal

What are the main types of search engines?

There are a few different types of search engines, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The most common is the crawler-based search engine, which runs on a computer program that searches through websites for information. These programs can be written to look for specific words or phrases (like “social media marketing”) and then index those pages accordingly.

Crawler-based engines have been around since the early days of internet usage in the 1990s; they’re still used today because they have some advantages over other types of search engines: they’re fast, they don’t need any special equipment beyond what’s already available on your computer or phone, and they’ll work even if you don’t have internet access. However, crawlers aren’t always able to index everything–for example if there isn’t enough content on a particular website yet–and their results can sometimes depend heavily on how often Google’s algorithms crawl each site before showing up in results pages (called “relevance”).

How do crawlers work?

Crawlers are automated programs that visit sites and gather information. Crawlers can be programmed to follow specific links, or they can be more general in their scope.

The crawler doesn’t have to be on the same server as the site being crawled (since search engines have access to many different servers).

How does ranking work?

Search rankings are based on the relevance of a page to a certain keyword. When you enter a query into Google, for example, it returns results based on how well each page matches your search terms.

For example: if I search for “where do puppies come from,” Google will return pages that contain information about dogs mating or giving birth and their puppies (and not necessarily where they come from). It also takes into account other factors such as popularity, user engagement and freshness of content when determining which pages appear first in results.

Keyword rankings help determine what web pages people see.

The factors that affect search engine rankings are many and varied. A website’s ranking on Google is determined by a complex algorithm that takes into account how often people click on it, what other websites link back to it, how long visitors stay on the site and much more.

Google uses over 200 signals when determining where your website will show up in its results pages. The exact formula for determining these rankings is secret.

  • Domain Authority (DA) – how authoritative a domain name is based on link structure
  • Page Authority (PA) – how authoritative an individual page is based on link structure

What are some of the challenges with SERPs?

One of the challenges with search engines is that they are limited by how many pages they can crawl in a given time period. For example, if you’re looking for information about cats on Google, it might only be able to crawl a few million different webpages before running out of resources and returning no results at all.

This happens because there are millions of websites online with new content being added every day. In addition to this, there are also millions of pages within those sites that need to be crawled and indexed so they can appear in SERPs (search engine results pages).


This is a very basic overview of how search engines work. There are many more details that we didn’t cover, but hopefully, this gives you a good idea of how the process works!

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