ABCs of Search Engines

How Search Engine Work

Ever thought about how search engines work? No, because every material you tried to read online felt too technical. If that’s the case, you have reached the right blog! This post outlines the process of how search engines operate.

Before we can start with our main topic, let’s revise our knowledge about search engines. It is a software system tailored to execute web searches systematically to search for detailed information. The line of results contains search results, referred to as search engine result pages. The main goal is to deliver the most relevant results to the users.

It consist of two main parts:

  1. Search Index 
  2. Search Algorithms

What is a web crawler? And how does it work?

The job of search engines is to crawl billions of pages with web crawlers. Imagine a tiny spider or bot that can hop from website to website available on the internet: these bots or spiders are known as crawlers. In this process, the bots explore every link on a website reaching new pages, which are, in turn, added to an index that search engines use to pull results.

How do search engines monetize their efforts?

Typically, search engines have two search result types:

  • The organic result is derived from the search index.
  • The paid result typically comes from advertisers.

In the paid search results, the advertiser pays search engines with every click on a paid search result. This process comes under PPC OR pay-per-click advertising. The process has simple math: more users will turn to more ad clicks and eventually more ROI.

Technicalities behind search engine indexing

Each search engine has a unique process for building a search index. For instance, Google makes a search index with a simple process!

  • Discover URLs from backlinks, sitemaps, and URL submissions.
  • The next step is crawling, where Googlebot visits and downloads are known URLs.
  • It is followed by processing and rendering, where the search engine works to interpret and retrieve essential information from crawled pages.
  • The last step is indexing, where the processed data is added to the search index.

Coming to the last part: how do search engines rank pages?

Search algorithms are crucial in indexing and are considered formulas that tally and rank relevant results from the index.

There are many key ranking factors, out of which we are listing the key ones below:

  • Backlinks
  • Relevance
  • Freshness
  • Page Speed
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Location
  • Language
  • Search History


It doesn’t take a lot to understand the intricacies of search engines. This post aimed to allow non-specialists and businesses to understand the nuances of search engines. 

Share this post