Well, before I explain “How does Search Engine work?” I just want to ask you a simple question.
“What is the first thing you do if you want to search for anything on the internet?”
Of course, you will say that you will be using Google Chrome or any other web browser to search any query and go to the desired location on the internet.
Everyone knows how to use it very well, but many of them don’t know properly how does Search Engine work? If you are one of them, then don’t worry I explain everything about it in detail.
If you have any website or blog and want to rank them in Search Engines, then I recommend you to read this complete blog.
When it comes to ranking, Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm. Till this date, no one knows what are all the factors but Google has revealed some of them so that we can optimize our website to rank in search results.
Also Read: What is SEO and how does it work?(Recommended Post)
How does Search Engine work?
On the basic level, a Search engine works based on 3 important functionalities. Those are,
What is Search Engine Crawling?
Crawling is the process where Search Engines send some robots (also known as “Crawlers” or “Spider”) to your website to discover contents like images, videos, webpages, etc. After a successful crawl, the search Engine downloads it and stores your data into their database.
These robots (robots.txt) are usually stored in your website’s root directory (i.e. yourdomain.com/robots.txt) and suggests Search Engines on which part of your website should crawl and which part it shouldn’t
Now the amazing thing is that Search Engines have crawled billions of webpages which are present on the internet today!
Here are some tips to get crawled quickly.
- Make sure you link your new blog post to other existing posts.
- Create a good backlink (from popular websites/blogs).
- Creating a sitemap.
If you don’t know about Sitemap, then I will explain it in detail.
“A Sitemap is a collection of all the website links”. The Sitemap of your website/blog will be:
For example, my blog URL for XML Sitemap is,
We can say that Sitemaps are our website’s guide to the crawlers because it tells them to crawl specific links you want and always notifies them about the new updates of your site when you published a new blog post.
You can create sitemaps by using SEO plugins on your WordPress (like Yoast SEO, Rankmath, etc).
So, to get crawled by search engines, you need to go to the Webmaster Tools. Each of them has their tools.
Give the details of your website like URLs and Sitemaps and then you are done. Usually, it takes 1 – 2 days to crawl your entire site and later you will be indexed.
Otherwise, instead of sending bulk URLs to crawl, you can also submit individual pages by using some interface. Page submissions are manually submitted directly to the Search Engines and this is only recommended when you have less manual work (fewer webpages to submit).
Remember that Google and other Search Engines don’t recognise your website until you don’t allow Robots to crawl. But somehow Google can still discover your content on the web, but Crawling is considered the most important factor.
There are some things you need to careful and might be the reason for not crawling your website.
1) Poor Internal Linking: Google tries to crawl every link on your website through internal links. If you don’t know about internal linking, then I will try to explain it easily.
Internal linking is the process of linking your website post, page, image or any other URLs in some of your post or page.
For example, if you wrote a post about what is SEO, then you might have a post related to types of SEO written before.
So you will link that previous post (types of SEO) in your present post (what is SEO) as a reference. Then, Google will crawl both the URLs, otherwise, it won’t crawl your website (because of lack of references).
2) No followed internal links: Google doesn’t crawl Internal Links with nofollow tags.
A nofollow tag is an indication to Search Engines to not follow these links. By doing this, you can avoid any problems with Search Engines believing that it may contain some schemes which are not accepted in SEO.
How to know that my website is been crawled and indexed or not?
It is simple to check your website whether it has been indexed or not. Just you need type the below command in the particular Search Engine.
For example consider my blog,
Now we can say that Search Engines depends on Crawlers. Now, let us understand what is indexing?
What is Indexing?
Indexing is the process of organising and storing the crawled data of your website. As I said before they store the information in their large database.
They use some Data Structure (the way of organising the data) which is called as an Index.
Search Engines uses organises the information of your website, before they show it to the search results.
The information (data) which is stored in index are,
- The Keywords included in your webpage content.
- The type of content that has been crawled.
- The age of your content (how recently was it updated?)
- The user experience of that page (time spent on that page, bounce rate, etc.)
Now, you may ask why they also store all these kinds of data like user experience, content type and all other things which may sound irreverent.
It may sound irreverent, but always remember that Search Engine always tries to give the best experience to the user by providing the best relevant content which is related to the user’s query.
In addition to indexing pages, search engines may also store a highly compressed text-only version of a document including all HTML and metadata of your website.
The cached document is the latest snapshot of that page which was seen by the search engines (for analysing).
So, to understand your data, Search Engines try to analyse every individual page of your website, which is very slow to do.
That’s why these engines (including Google, Bing, etc) uses an inverted index which is usually called as Reverse Index. You can read more about the reverse index here.
Why your Page is not indexed?
There are two reasons for not indexing even your webpage is crawled.
- Search Engine algorithm detects suspicious activities on your webpage like plagiarism (copy-paste data), spam links, low quality, thin content, etc.
- Webpage returning 404 error (HTTP response code).
So, this is all about indexing. Now let us understand what is Ranking in search results.
What is Search Engine Ranking?
The next step after indexing is ranking your website according to the keyword used by the user.
This is the final step in which your website is been seen by the whole internet globally.
So, to rank your website, the Search Engines analyses your content (post or pages) by using some algorithms and decides which keyword it should rank.
I will provide you with some factors to rank well,
- Quality Backlinks
- Page Speed
- Content age (old, new or updated)
- User Experience, etc.
You need to remember that Search Engines change their algorithms and might alter some of the search results.
That means you may rank higher now but later your website rank may increase or decrease in the search results.
This is certain because as I said before that Search Engine tries to provide quality content so that the user feels satisfied and keep using that Search Engine.
Understanding Search Engine is very important if you have a website/blog because it gives you proper analysis and helps you avoid any issues or errors while crawling or indexing.
Understanding user queries is also important because Search Engines prioritize the quality content based on the user’s keyword.
Try to include relevant keywords in your content. This will help Search Engines to discover and rank easily on search results.
Make sure you create quality backlinks because it boosts your rankings and has a good amount of organic traffic.
Having a good amount of quality content helps you to attract viewers and also helps your website to rank higher.
And the last tip I want to give you is about submitting your XML Sitemaps to various webmaster tools. So that you will get more traffic from other Search Engines.
Because many of them only concentrate on Google. They will just ignore other Search Engines like Bing and Yahoo! (Take advantage of these Search Engines as well).
If you liked this post – “How does Search Engine Work?”, then please share this article and help others to learn about the Search Engines.
Don’t forget to comment down below for any doubts, suggestions or queries you have. I am always ready to help. Thank You 🙂