Before knowing how search engines work let us know what is Search Engine.
Search Engine is a tool designed to find the relevant information according to the keywords specified by users from a stored database.
Google or any search engine receives millions of queries per second, so it goes through trillion of pages internet-wide and selects results within a second.
Search Engine follows 2 rules:
Search engine algorithm works to search the Web pages that contain the keywords where users search, then assign a rank to each page based on relevance. Algorithms also dictate how many pages to crawl and how frequently.
As database consist of lot of information so the algorithm looks and finds the results for users query, and ranks.
You type a keyword, and get a list of relevant pages, it looks simple but there is a lot of background done to make Search Engines work.
Search Engines work on 3 primary mechanism, they are Crawling, Indexing and Ranking
With these 3 search engine functions and with the usage of SEO, you can rank on top in SERP.
Search Engine uses web crawler bots or web spiders to scan the pages, URL’s sitemaps and data of a website, and discovers if there is any new content on the web.
Crawler goes through each site, visits pages follows links (internal and external) and build a map of interlinked pages.
Your website won’t appear in search results if bots cannot crawl and they cannot be indexed, so make sure your site is visible to scan.
Implement these steps to appear your site in search engine:
Site hierarchy: Create a structured website that flows from domain to category so that crawler can go through your site quickly.
Links: Use internal links on every page. Crawlers need links to move between page to Page, without links pages cannot be crawled or indexed.
XML sitemap: Generate sitemap to each page and blog of your site, this list tells them which pages and blogs to crawl.
There are plugins like Yoast and Google XML Sitemap that will generate and update your sitemap, and submit it in webmaster tools of search engine.
Indexing is a process of associating the words where Search Engine collects the data after crawling and stores it in the correct location. It decides how to organize the information (images, CSS and HTML, text and keywords, etc) into categories.
If you don’t want crawlers to show any page of your site in SERP, then you can exclude from indexes, use noindex or nofollow meta tag to control access by telling which pages to crawl.
Blocking any page from crawling and indexing won’t affect your search ranking, rather it will help crawlers to focus on other important pages.
A Search engine ranks the page for the best-matched results of each query and displays the pages in SERP based on the search algorithms factors.
Based on this search engine gives the most relevant and useful results.
We have learnt how search engines work now let us know how it answer queries.
As we have seen how search engine works to find and organize information, let us know how this helps to answer user’s queries.
Topic relevance: If a web page contains the keywords, searched by user as query then search engine recognizes the group of relevant keywords and synonyms.
Content Search: Search engine understand the query and finds the relevant pages, here are the few factors which helps search engine to decide which page is best:
Local SEO: Search engine states the information on SERP by considering the location, language you are using, search settings(safemode or safesearch) and search history(what you are more interested).
It is easy to create a website to make it crawled and indexed with the help of technical SEO, keywords and content on your website. Sending the signals to the Search Engine and make your site appears in results pages.