How Do Search Engines Work – Web Crawlers

how do search engines work
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Looking for ways to improve your website’s search engine ranking? Check out our top tips! How Do Search Engines Work – Web Crawlers 

How Do Search Engines Work – Web Crawlers 

Search engines optimization are a great way to help people find things online. They crawl the web looking for relevant information based on keywords entered into the search box. When someone searches for something, the search engine finds the most relevant sites and displays them in the search results. If you want to rank high in those search results, you must take some key steps.

The first step is ensuring your site is properly optimized for search engines. This includes making sure the URL structure is clean and easy to understand. You’ll also want to make sure each page contains unique, useful content. Finally, it helps to include keyword phrases throughout your text. These three elements work together to ensure that your site appears in the best possible light in the search result pages.

Search engine basics

A search engine is a tool used to find information online. Search engines algorithms use to determine where to send you based on keywords and phrases you type into the search box. They do this because people don’t always know exactly what they’re looking for. For example, if you want to buy a car, you might enter “car buying tips.” But if you wanted to learn about cars, you’d probably type something like “what makes a good car?”

What are search engines?

A search engine’s is an automated system crawling through websites to index them. The index contains all the text and other data from each page. When someone types a keyword or phrase into the search bar, the search engine looks at its database and displays results. These include web pages, images, videos, news articles, etc.

how do search engines work

The most popular search engines today include Google and Bing.

Search engine crawlers are searchable databases containing millions of web pages. These databases are made up of two main components:

– Search index

– Digital library of information about web pages

The search index contains records of every webpage indexed by the search engine. This includes keywords, URLs, meta tags, images, videos, etc.

The digital library of information about each webpage consists of data such as the date it was published, how often it gets updated, the number of times it’s been viewed, and much more.

A search algorithm matches results from the search index to the database of information about web pages based on rules set by the search engine.

What is the aim of search engines?

The primary purpose of search engines is to provide users with relevant content. In order to achieve this goal, search engines must have access to vast amounts of information. Therefore, they need to crawl the internet and collect data from websites.

When a user enters a query into the search bar, their request is sent to the search engine. The search engine then searches its database for any matching results. If there are no matches, the search engine will display suggestions. 

How do search engines make money?

Search engine optimization is businesses. They generate revenue via advertising. When you search, you see ads based on what you searched for. If you click on one of those ads, it costs the advertiser money. This is how search engines make money.

Google makes over 90% of its revenue from AdWords. Other search engines like Bing and Yahoo follow suit.

How do search engines build their indexes?

In order to create an index, search engines first download the HTML code of each webpage. Then they extract the text from each page and store it in a database. Next, they analyze the text and assign weights to words. Finally, they calculate scores for each webpage based on the weighting assigned to each word.

This process takes time. However, once completed, the search engine has created an index of billions of pages.


Every website has a unique address called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). It’s just a string of numbers and letters. Most websites also have a short version of their URL, known as a domain name.

The URL is the address of a webpage. This tells you where the page is located, the type of file, and how to access it.

A URL is unique. There cannot be two different URLs that look the same. For example, here are some examples of URLs:

Google uses a lot of information about each URL to determine whether it is relevant to a particular search. Here are just a few things we know about URLs:


The process of collecting data from websites is called crawling. Crawlers visit websites and download all the information available.

For example, Googlebot crawls the entire internet looking for new pages. It does not only visit your own site.

Google’s crawling technology is one of the most important parts of ranking web pages. When you type a keyword into Google, the search engine work by crawling, looking at what it knows about the topic, and returning relevant results. One way Google does this is by checking whether a webpage exists and, if it does, whether it’s been indexed by another program called a spider. A spider is a piece of software that searches every single URL on the internet. This allows Google to crawl the whole thing rather than relying on human editors to index everything.

how do search engines work

The process of crawling involves Googlebot downloading a webpage and storing it locally. Then, the robot checks each link within the document against a list of known sites. The robot adds it to the database if the site doesn’t exist or isn’t listed. Once the entire document has been downloaded, the robot indexes it. This process repeats itself repeatedly, allowing Google to keep up with changes to the Internet.

 Processing and rendering

Once the search engine has crawled and indexed the web, it needs to figure out which pages are useful to users. The process of doing so is called processing and rendering.

When someone types a query into Google, the search algorithm analyzes the keywords and phrases typed in and determines which pages should appear in the top results.


It then displays these pages to the user. In addition to displaying the page’s actual content, Google may display ads alongside the search result. These ads can be displayed above, below, or in search results.


Search engines use algorithms to analyze a page’s text and decide whether it’s relevant to the search term. They do this by comparing the words on the page to those used in the search query.

The page will be included in the search results if there is a match between the terms. Otherwise, it won’t.

This process is called “indexing” because it creates an index of the contents of the page.

How do search engines rank pages?

There are three main factors that influence how high a website appears in search results:

1) PageRank – This is a measure of popularity. Pages with more links pointing to them have higher PR values.

2) Keywords – The more times a word appears in the title, description, and body of a page, the better.

3) Content quality – Pages with lots of good, unique content tend to rank highly.

Keyword research is the first step in creating great content. You need to find the right keywords that people are using when searching online.

You can also include other elements like meta descriptions and titles in order to increase your rankings.

What are search algorithms?

A search algorithm is a set of rules for ranking websites based on their relevance to a search query.

Google uses two different kinds of algorithms:

  • An internal algorithm that decides which websites get ranked highest.
  • An external algorithm that decides where to place advertisements on a given page.

Search algorithms are formulas that match, sort, and rank relevant results from an index. They use several factors like relevance, popularity, authority, quality, and others.

Google uses many different types of data to determine what information it displays in search results. For example, it might look at how often you type keywords into the search bar, how long people spend on each page, where you clicked within the search results, whether you bookmarked the site, etc. 

Key Google ranking factors

The following are some of the most important factors that affect how well a page ranks in Google searches:

1) Backlinks – Links back to your site from other sites are considered valuable. If another site mentions your URL in its own content, they’re saying that they think your site is worth visiting.

2) Domain Authority (DA) – DA measures the overall strength of a domain. A higher DA means that the domain has been around longer, has more experience, and has more authority than other domains.

3) Page Authority (PA) – PA measures the importance of individual pages. A higher PA indicates that the page has more authority than other pages.

4) Quality Score (QS) – QS is a combination of both DA and PA. It gives a score between 0-100 to every page.

5) CTR (Click Through Rate) – CTR measures how likely users are to click on a link after seeing it in search results. Higher CTR means that users are more interested in clicking on the link.

6) Time On Site (TOS) – TOS shows how much time visitors spend on a specific page. Longer stays indicate that the page engaged users.

7) Bounce Rate – The bounce rate is calculated as a percentage of all visits that leave a website immediately without viewing any pages. High bounce rates usually mean the page wasn’t interesting or useful enough.

8) Average Time Spent per Visit (ATV) – ATV is calculated by dividing total visits by total time spent. It shows how long people stay on average while browsing a certain page.

9) Page Load Speed – This factor is measured milliseconds (ms). The faster a page loads, the better.

10) Mobile Friendliness – How easy is it to view the page on mobile devices? Is it optimized for smartphones and tablets?

11) Internal Linking – Does the page have links pointing to other parts of the same website? These links help Google crawl the site more thoroughly.

12) External Linking – Are there links out to other websites? These links can be helpful for SEO purposes, but too many can harm your site if not managed properly.

13) Content – What kind of text does the page contain? Images, videos, bolded words, lists, tables, etc.? All these elements make up the “content” of a webpage.

14) Keywords – What terms did the user enter into the search engine when looking for this page? You want to include these keywords on the page so that they will appear in the SERPs’ right section.

15) Social Signals – How popular is the page among social media users? The number of likes, shares, comments, etc, determines popularity.

16) Competitors – Who else is competing with the page? If there are multiple competitors, it could indicate that the page isn’t very unique.

17) Trust Flow/Domain Age – How old is the domain? Older domains tend to be more trustworthy than newer ones.


The number of backlinks you have isn’t everything. Plenty of sites with thousands of backlinks rank poorly because they don’t offer much value. On the flip side, some sites with just a handful of backlinks rank well because they provide great value.

Quality matters too. If you have a bunch of low-quality backlinks pointing to your site, it could hurt your rankings. But if you have a handful of high-quality backlinks pointing toward your site, it could help boost your rankings.


This is one of the most important factors affecting organic traffic. When someone searches for something, they try to find information about a particular topic. For example, I might type “iPhone cases” into an online search bar if I wanted to buy a new phone case.

When someone types this query into Google, the company’s algorithm looks at what it thinks is relevant content based on previous queries and which sites link to it. In this case, the results would likely look like this:

Now, let’s say that I’m searching for iPhone cases, but I also happen to know that Apple makes them. So I add “Apple” to my query. Now, my results should look like this:

As you can see, Google has combined both of my original queries. It then looked through all the pages linking to each result and found the best match. In this case, it chose the product listing from Amazon because it was the highest quality page that matched my queries.


Google wants to give people the freshest, most useful results possible. That means fresh content, updated frequently. This is why Google penalizes sites that aren’t regularly updating their content.

Is A Query-Dependent Ranking Factor In Search Results – And Here’s Why You See New NetFlix Series But Not Rubik’s Cube Solving Tips”

Google’s algorithm changes are always confusing for those trying to rank well in search engines. We know it favors certain types of queries over others, but we don’t really understand how it works. One clear thing is that Google uses several factors to determine what appears at the top of the SERPs. These include things like relevance, authority, popularity, and even freshness.

In some cases, Google will favor newer content over older content. This is especially true for questions where there isn’t much competition. For example, if someone asks about “how to solve the Rubik’s Cube,” there aren’t many sites that provide information about solving the puzzle. So Google will likely show a recent article about it because it knows that people searching for this type of question are looking for something new.

But sometimes, Google doesn’t care about freshness. If someone searches for “new Netflix series,” plenty of articles are written about the upcoming shows. So Google won’t give preference to the most recently posted piece. Instead, it will use other signals to decide what to display. 

Page speed

The last factor that affects search engine ranking is page speed. Page speed refers to how quickly a web page loads when someone visits it. The faster a page loads, the better.

Google announced in January 2018 that it would begin measuring page load speeds across desktop and mobile searches. While the algorithm already considers how long it takes to download a webpage, this change is meant to give searchers a better idea of what they’re getting into when clicking on a link.


The update is part of Google’s ongoing efforts to make webpages faster and easier to read. The company recently launched Speed Update, a tool that automatically analyzes a site and suggests ways to improve performance.

But while page speed is a ranking factor, it’s not necessarily positive. It’s a negative ranking factor. And here’s why:

  • Pages with slower loading times are less likely to rank well.
  • Slow pages tend to be longer, making them harder to index and crawl.
  • They also take longer to serve up to visitors, meaning they don’t show up in search results as quickly.

So, even though you might want to optimize your pages for speed, you shouldn’t focus solely on improving page speed. Instead, you should also aim to increase the overall quality of your content. If you do, you’ll see a boost in rankings. 

Mobile Friendliness

As mentioned earlier, Google has been focusing more on mobile-friendliness lately. It wants websites to be easy to navigate on smaller screens.

Has Been A Ranking Factor On Desktop And Mobile Since Google’s Switch To Mobile First Indexing In 2019

Google announced it had begun rolling out mobile-friendly changes to its algorithm in November 2018. These changes included the removal of “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal on desktop searches. This meant that sites that were not mobile-friendly would no longer rank as highly as those that were.

The change came about because Google wanted to make sure that people could easily access information on mobile devices. However, some webmasters complained that the update was unfair, especially considering that the majority of traffic still came from desktops.

In January 2019, Google confirmed that it would continue to use mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor on mobile searches. But, it did say that it would begin treating mobile-friendliness as less important on desktop.

how do search engines work

This means that mobile-friendliness will now be treated like a secondary factor rather than a primary one. As such, there are fewer penalties for being mobile unfriendly.

How do search engines personalize results?

Search engines have become increasingly sophisticated at understanding users’ needs and desires. For example, if you type “best dog food for small dogs” into Google, you get links to different pet foods.

However, if you add the word “for” before the phrase, then Google will only display links to products specifically designed for small dogs. 

Google tailors search results for every individual user based on his or her search history, location, and even language preferences. This allows it to provide relevant searches and ads tailored to you. For example, if you are looking for a restaurant near your home, Google might show you restaurants that are close to where you live. If you are searching for something specific, like a particular type of car, Google might suggest similar models. And if you want to buy a product, Google might recommend products that fit into your budget.

These personalized results are called “personalized search.” They’re one of the most important features of Google Search today. But how does Google know what you’re interested in? How does it decide what to display in those personalized results? 


If you ask Google to find a place nearby, it can tell you which businesses are within walking distance of your current location. You can also specify whether you’d prefer to go to a business open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can also set up filters so that Google shows you only local businesses that meet certain criteria. For example, you can choose to see only restaurants with table service. Or you can limit your search to places that serve alcohol.

You can also narrow your search by specifying a radius around your current location. So, if you’re looking for a coffee shop, you can enter an address and specify a range of miles.


Is Still A Ranking Factor In Search Results For Users Who Speak Different Languages”

Google knows there’s no point in showing English search results to Spanish speakers. If you type “google en español,” Google doesn’t even show you the English version of the site. Instead, it displays a translated version of the same page. This is because Google thinks that Spanish-speaking people are unlikely to want to see English content.

This is how Google works. When someone searches for something in another language, Google looks at the context of the words used. If the word “google” appears in the sentence “I searched google for information about my car,” Google assumes that the person wants to know what Google is. So it returns a translation of the web page.

Search History

Google saves the things you do, places you go, and even what you type into the browser bar. This data helps it make better suggestions for searches and provide more relevant ads. But there are some things you control yourself—like whether or not you want to save your search history. If you’re worried about privacy, you can turn off “Save Search History.”

But most people probably don’t know that. And since we’ve been conditioned to think of our search histories as part of our identity, it makes sense that many people wouldn’t mind having their personal information saved. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 90 percent of Americans say they’d like to keep track of their online activity.


The term “references” refers to the number of times a web page appears on another site. This helps search engines determine how important it is. A reference count is used to rank web pages and blogs.

A good example of references is the articles you write. If you publish an article on a blog, the author will often link to it. When someone reads the linked article, the reader will see your name in the list of authors. All of this adds up to a high number of references.

If you want to increase your references, ensure you include a link to your profile on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also, try to add a link to your website in every post.

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