How does Search Engines work?

  • Feb 24 ,2019

In this article you will learn about How does Search Engines work? But before starting, it is important to know what a Search Engine really is?  In simple words, a Search Engine is basically a set of programs, where we enter our content, and how the Search Engine works to gives the information related to that content in various forms like a different website, images, and videos. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duckduckgo are some of its examples. Here you can learn how Search Engines work?

Actually, search engines are programs in which you can enter the information that you want to receive online using phrases or keywords. It has the ability to return the searched result as soon as you enter the information you want to grab. Even though there are millions of websites online, it filters them continuously and indexes the found pages. 

One of the important points is the difference between browser and search engine. You can use a browser once you have access to the internet whereas a search engine permits you to search on the internet once you have internet access. You can take google chrome as a web browser and Google as a search engine and Google has its own database while chrome has cache memory that is used to store the cookies.

Features of Search Engines:

  • Super-fast setup
  • No fixed page limit
  • Reports track visitors’ searches
  • Automatic site map
  • Automatic what’s new list
  • Advanced site search engine
  • Handles password-protected pages
  • Scheduled re-indexing
  • Complete customization
  • Ease of use

Workings of Search Engine

There are various activities that a search engine does to process the result or search.The goal of the search engine algorithm is to provide a relevant set of high-quality search results that will rapidly answer the user’s query. The user then chooses an option from the search results list and the action goes into future learnings that may affect future rankings of search engines. These are the processes involved in the working of a search engine.

  • URLs

It is the first step that starts with the URLs list. Here are the most common processes among the different processes Google :

  • From backlinks

There are already trillions of web pages in which google contains its index. They can find your page from those web pages even if a link to your page is added from someone else. You can easily watch the backlinks of your website with a tool called Ahrefs Webmaster Tools with Site Explorer by following these processes:

  1. Sign up in the Ahrefs webmaster tool.
  2. In Site  Explorer, paste your domain
  3. And go to Backlinks report
  • From sitemaps

Discovering your website will be faster and easier if you submit your sitemap to Google.

  • From URL submissions

Through Google Search Console, submission of  individual URLs will be allowed by Google 

  • Crawling

It is the process of getting all the web pages linked to a website. This task is performed by a software called a crawler or a spider. Like Googlebot for Google, Yahoo slurp for Yahoo, and Bing bot for Bing. It is done to find the additional pages with the help of search engine web crawlers which are used to grab a link of the pages which you have already surfed and downloaded.

  • Processing

It is basically a step-to-step process where a search request is sent, and the search engine checks and processes it. It then compares the search string that is present in the search request with the indexed pages in the database. The document processor of a search query takes the pages, sites, or documents to prepare, process, and input against which users search. It will do all or some of the steps given below:

  • Deletes stop words.
  • Point out potential document’s indexable elements.
  • Isolates and metatags subdocument pieces.
  • document stream is normalized to a predefined format
  • Extracts index entries.
  • Computes weights.
  • Stems terms.
  • Break down the document stream into retrievable units as wanted.
  • Creates and maintains the main inverted file against the queries to match with documents that the search engine uses.
  • Indexing

It is the process of generating an index for all the fetched web pages and placing them into a huge database from where they can later be retrieved. It is used before a search in which information is assembled by the search engines to make better responses to queries. 

To recognize the relevant information for search engines, it would be a very slow process to search topics and keywords on individual pages. indexing is a way better process than the method in which all the known documents’ are listed against all pertinent characters and keywords. The process of indexing is identifying the words and expressions that best describe the page and assigning the page to particular keywords.

  • Calculating Relevancy

There is a very high chance that more than one page contains the same searched string, so the search engine starts calculating the relevancy of each of the pages in its index to the search string.

The search engine must first determine which pages in the index are relevant to the query and which are not when an audience submits to it a query which will be referred to as the “relevance” problem. For computing a relevancy score from a given search query and a document, it measures the similarity between a search query.

  • Retrieving Results

It is the last step where a search engine displays the best-matched results. Basically, it is nothing more than simply displaying them in the browser.

There are a lot of algorithm rules involved in this search process and Google, Yahoo often updates their algorithm. So it is observed that results vary for the same content, searching after some time interval. That is why you must know about the Search Engine before you start doing SEO for your website. You can also check out our blog to learn more about SEO and What is SEO? How does SEO work for websites?     


In conclusion, here are some working mechanisms of the Search Engines.  You can also read the other blogs related to Search Engine Optimization that can improve the performance of your business. If you think we have missed anything important, you can leave a comment in the comment section below. We will love to read your feedback and don’t forget to share this.

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