How search engines work, really? This is something that you need to know. After all, the top search engines are used by millions of people every day, so it’s natural to be curious about something you use a lot.  Search engines also contribute heavily to the chances of a website being seen.

Find out How Search Engines Work

how search engines work

The goal of most websites is to have their website at the top of the search results list. In order to achieve this, you have to know how search engines work.

First type of search engines – crawlers/spiders

To know how search engines work, you first have to determine the type you are working with. Search engines such as Google and AltaVista use something known as spiders, or crawlers.  A spider can be considered to be an automated program which visits a website, browses through the content, observes the Meta tags of a site and considers the links connected to the site.  Once this is done, the spider feedbacks all of the information to a central depository where it is indexed and periodically updated by the spiders (the frequency of which is determined by the search engine’s moderators.  Therefore, a spider works by creating a table of contents for the content that it combs through during a search.  Understandably, this is a very big table of contents to a big book – it may search and index up to one million pages per day.

Second type of search engines – algorithms

Some search engines will use something called algorithms when locating information.  This is an important element to how search engines work because algorithms determine the ranking of a website on its search results list.  Higher rankings lead to higher traffic, which is what the owners of websites are concerned with.  A search engine algorithm works by scanning the frequency and location of keywords on a website.  Just as the name implies, algorithms are complex and smart – they can even detect when you are abusing the usage of particular keywords.  It can also determine what a page is about based on analyzing the keywords of linked pages on the Internet. Thus, algorithms are an intelligent way of how search engines work.

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