Search engines have become a part of our daily life. If you could count the number of times you use Google or any other search engine out there on a daily basis proves that these have become something that we can’t live without.
Being the number one search engine today, Google on its own, handles more than 2 trillion searches on a yearly basis.
These are incredibly huge numbers. Imagine a life without these search engines, how difficult it would be to access much needed information which we use for fun, leisure, learning, shopping and business.
A search engine is basically a software that is programmed to search for websites that use the words that you type in as search terms. They help you find what you are looking for by going through their own databases of information.
We have reached the point wherein there is dependence on these search engines in almost all aspects of our life.
The reason for this is that search engines like Google in particular has the ability to give us answers to any question that we may have and we can have access to it in an instant.
Many may be curious to know and ask the question, how do search engines work?
The answer to this question is vital if you are a web developer, designer or online marketer. Anything that has to do with website creation is tied up with the search engines.
It all begins with a search engine spider or web crawler. A spider is a software that enables the search engine to crawl or read the backend code of websites. This is how search engines know what information is available out there. The spider scans the internet and goes from page to page, site to site at breakneck speed in order to pull data that is relevant to the search performed.
A list is created that determines how many web servers are needed to crawl and the number of websites that are hosted by each server.
Different techniques are used when visiting each website, page number is determined and whether the pages have text content, images, videos, etc. Spiders also follow links which lead to more websites to crawl.
They are constantly tracking if changes are made to the website, if pages are added or deleted or when links are updated.
The crawling process takes a lot of work when you take into consideration the close to 130 trillion pages that are on the Internet today and thousands more are being added and published everyday.
knowing how crawlers work helps web developers optimize websites for search engines. The goal should be to make the spiders access and read your website correctly or else you will get a low ranking in search engines and little traffic.
To help these crawlers discover and access your website faster you should use Robots.txt to be specific about which pages you don’t want crawlers to access. These are the pages that you don’t want to be publicly accessed on the Internet. An xml sitemap can also help in order to list down all important pages of your website so that crawlers can focus on monitoring them for updates and changes.
The data that crawlers identify needs to be organized, stored and sorted in order to be processed by the search engine algorithm so that it can be shown to the one making the search. This is what we call indexing.
Search engines don’t store all the data found on a page in their index. They only keep relevant information needed by their algorithms like page creation date, title and description, type of content, keywords, incoming and outgoing links and a whole lot of other parameters.
Web developers need to know that it is important to have more pages of their website in the search engine indexes to give it more chances of appearing in search results. This does not mean, however, that they would appear at the top of the search automatically. In order to appear in the top positions of a search you need to do SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
SEO For Ranking High In Search Results
SEO is a process which helps search engines identify websites better and get them on top of relevant searches. This can be done by making sure the website’s code is readable and easy to navigate for crawlers. SEO techniques make a website more relevant so that search engines are convinced that they should rank among the top in relevant search queries.
In a nutshell, we have answered the common question on how do search engines work.