Search engines are powerful tools that help users find information on the internet. They play a crucial role in organizing and indexing vast web content, making it easily accessible to users when they enter search queries—understanding how search engines work can provide valuable insights into how to optimize websites for better visibility and ranking in search results.
To improve a website’s visibility in search results, website owners and digital marketers engage in a practice called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO involves optimizing website content, structure, and other elements to align with search engine ranking factors, ultimately enhancing the website’s chances of ranking higher in search results.
It is understanding how search engines work that can empower individuals and businesses to create valuable, relevant, and user-friendly web content, which is essential in meeting the needs of online users and succeeding in the competitive digital landscape.
Types of Search Engines :-
There are various models of search engines. I will brief the top search engines, whose names are given below.
- Google: Google is a dominant and widely-used internet search engine enroot by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It was formally acknowledged in 1998 and has since become the most well-known search engine in the world. Google’s primary purpose is to help users find relevant information on the internet quickly and efficiently.
- Bing: Bing is a search engine that is possessed and governed by Microsoft. It was launched in 2009 as a descendant of Microsoft’s previous search engines, Live Search and MSN Search. Bing is one of the extreme competitors to Google and is designed to help users find relevant and authentic solutions to their queries online. Bing’s search results page is similar to other search engines, featuring a mix of primary search results and paid advertisements.
- Yahoo: Yahoo is a search engine and web portal that was one of the early avant-gardes of the internet. It was founded in 1995 and quickly became one of the most beloved websites, offering a sphere of services such as search, email, news, finance, and many more. As a search engine, Yahoo provided users with a platform to find information online by indexing and ranking web pages. It used a search algorithm to deliver authentic search results to users based on their queries.
- Duckduckgo: DuckDuckGo is a confidentially-focused search engine that gives priority to user privacy and security. It was launched in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg and has gained popularity as an alternative to mainstream search engines like Google. Unlike other search engines, DuckDuckGo does not track or collect users’ personal information or search history, making it a privacy-friendly choice for those concerned about online privacy.
- Baidu: Baidu is a Chinese multinational technology company and the leading internet search engine in China. Its headquarters are in Beijing, China, and it was established in 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu. In addition to online search, picture search, video search, maps, news, and other features, Baidu’s search engine also provides a wide range of services that are comparable to those offered by Google. As the dominant search engine in China, Baidu holds a significant share of the Chinese search market.
Global Search Engine Market Share (September 2021):
- Google: Approximately 92.47%
- Bing: Approximately 2.78%
- Baidu: Approximately 1.36%
- Yahoo: Approximately 1.25%
- Baidu: Approximately 1.36%
Unveiling the Mechanics of Web Search:-
Search engines are sophisticated software systems designed to help users find information on the internet. In addition to crawling, indexing, and ranking web pages, they also analyze the content of web pages. How search engines work is explained in this high-level overview:
Search engines use mechanized programs called “crawlers” or “spiders” to systematically browse the web. These crawlers start by visiting a few seed URLs and following links on those pages to discover new ones. They frequently move from one web page to another, gathering information as they go.
As crawlers visit web pages, they extract and store information about these pages in a large number of databases called indexes. This process involves analyzing the content of the page, including text, images, meta tags, and other appropriate data. The index allows the search engine to quickly recall information when a user enters a search query.
When a user submits a search query, the search engine retrieves relevant results from its index. The ranking algorithm then comes into play. The algorithm’s goal is to order the search results based on their relevance to the user’s query and the quality of the content. Search engines use hundreds of factors to determine the ranking, including keywords, website authority, user engagement metrics, backlinks, and more.
On the search engine results page (SERP), the search engine displays the results after ranking the web pages. Page results are sorted according to relevance, with the most relevant and high-quality pages appearing at the top. It’s important to note that search engines are continually updating and refining their algorithms to provide better and more relevant search results to users. They also consider factors like user location, language, and search history to tailor results to individual users’ preferences and needs.
For website owners and creators, understanding search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to ensure their content ranks higher in search results and attracts more organic traffic. By optimizing their websites for relevant keywords, producing high-quality content, and obtaining authoritative backlinks, website owners can improve their chances of ranking well in search engine results.
A Look at Basic Example that “How They Work”?
Now adding all the “Process of SEO” in an example so that it becomes easy to recognize, Suppose I own a Library, and I need to buy a lot of books for it, whether from shops or placing orders from different locations, and then a loading truck comes, full of books.
I have 3 peons, So I sent one of them to go and pick up all the books from the truck. So what did the peon do? He picked up all the books and put them in my library’s main hall. So my first Peon has done the work of “Crawler” or the “Spider”. So what did he do? He picked up the data and threw it there, that is, he put it in my local server, which is my hall,
Now I told my other peon to go and pick up the books there, category-wise, Books in Hindi became different, and English became different than in Hindi, English, like literature, economics, and math, textbooks, magazines, and newspapers became different. I told him to put all the shelves of the books in all these categories so my second peon went to pick up all the data, that is, all the books, and put them in categories. and now my second peon was called “Indexer” Now what did he do? He saved my data in categories.
Now the data that I have collected after the classes are made is my central server, that is, the central server of Google, which is connected to us. So now it’s the turn of the third peon, whenever a user comes and says I want this thing, then the third peon will run and go. and wherever the indexers have kept the book, he will bring it to him according to the query of the users this is called “Ranking” like he says I want a book of literature in English, then that peon will go and find it, take that book, and give it to my user,
So this is What Google does:-
The first is crawling, the second is indexing, and the third is ranking algorithms of Google. There will be a lot of discussion about ranking algorithms and how Google makes rankings, so Google displays the results in the order of ranking.
Because all the indexing is done, the categories are divided, but in it, which result do you have to show first, which one on second and third, and which Images to show in the Images, all these things are done by “Ranking Algorithm”.So whenever you type any keyword on Google, the result page you see is called SERP means “Search Engine Result Page”.So SERP, whatever you found in the results, is decided by “Google’s Ranking Algorithm”.