How Do Search Engines Actually Work?

· Digital Marketing,Advertising,Marketing

Think about how much and why you use Google or other search engines to look for a product or an information. The key question we have to ask as we begin our journey is "How do search engines work to categorize websites and present them to searchers in results?" This can be done for the majority of searches by applying SEO techniques to increase visibility in search results and increase search traffic to our website.

Knowing how to get your brand, website, or business noticed by searchers is a key skill as a digital marketer. Besides, understanding how SEO is changing will keep you at the top of your game. Although SEO changes in small ways regularly, its main principles do not. We can split SEO into three components since Google came on the scene in the late 1990s:

Technical Optimization

It is the process of completing activities on your site that are designed to improve SEO but are not related to content. It often happens behind the scenes.

On-Page Optimization

It is the process of ensuring that the content on your site is meaningful and offers a great user experience. It requires targeting within your content with the correct keywords which can be done through a content management system (CMS).

Typically, a CMS would have a user-friendly interface and in certain circumstances, there will be a drag and drop support for text boxes and images, so that your own page templates can be built easily. Wordpress, Wix, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Shopify, and Speech Engine are common examples of content management systems.

Off-Page Optimization

It is the process of improving the search engine rankings of your site via activities outside of the site. This is powered mainly by backlinks, which help to establish the credibility of the web.

Computer programs that look for clues to give the searcher the exact results that they are looking for are called search engine algorithms. To find web pages, search engines rely on algorithms and determine which ones to rank for any given keyword. How search engines function is followed by three steps:

#1 Crawling: discovering a website's themes and topics;

In order to identify new sites and record information about them, search engines send out web crawlers. These web crawlers are also named as'spiders' or 'robots'. Their purpose is to find new web pages that exist and also to regularly review the content on pages they have previously visited to see whether they have modified or been updated.

Search engines crawl web pages by following links they've already found. So, when a search engine crawls your homepage, if you have a blog post and it's linked from your homepage, it will then look for another link to follow and will follow the link to your new blog post. Search engines are often instructed by websites not to crawl such web pages so that they are left out of the index.

#2 Indexing: registering the page in a search engine's database which is linked to certain topics;

Indexing is the second step. Indexing is when a search engine determines if it can use the information it has crawled or not. If a web page that has been crawled is considered worthy by a search engine, it will be added to its index. At the final ranking stage, this index will be used. It is filed and stored in a database when a web page or piece of content is indexed, where it can later be retrieved. The index is put on most web pages that provide unique and useful content.

A web page might not be placed in the index if:

  • it’s not mobile-friendly 
  • its content is considered duplicate 
  • its content is considered low value or spammy 
  • it couldn’t be crawled the page or domain lacked inbound links

#3 Ranking: sorting the position of search results based on the search parameters and themes associated in the search engine database

The third step is also the most significant step, and that is ranking. Search engines sort or rank the results for any given keyword, to give the searcher the most useful and relevant results they can find. After completing the crawling and indexing steps, ranking can only occur and your site can be ranked accordingly.

Search engines use more than 200 ranking signals to sort and rank information, and they all fit under the three pillars of SEO: technical optimization, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization. Some examples of signals used by search engines to rate web pages are: keyword presence in the title tag, web page loading speed, and website popularity.