How do Search Engines Work?

What do you do when you have an entire world’s worth of information at your fingertips? You Google it, of course. But what goes on under the hood when you type in a search query and press enter? There’s a lot that goes into indexing over 100 billion web pages, each with its own set of keywords. But how exactly does Google or any other search engine operate? To understand it better, let’s take a closer look at the inner workings of search engines and the algorithms they use to catalog and categorize information.

Where to Begin?

When we talk about how search engines work, we first need to understand what they’re indexing. The first thing to understand is that search engines are not scanning the content of webpages directly. If they did, their task would be impossible: there are simply too many webpages in existence. They’re instead crawling the web and creating a list of all the URLs that are out there.

By visiting each page and creating a record, they have a list of destinations that they can later use when users search for something. They don’t look at each webpage’s content. Instead, they look at the metadata associated with that page. If you’re confused, it might help to think of it this way: every web page has a set of properties, which are information that’s not displayed on the page itself but which is still essential. A search engine crawler can read all of these properties and add them to the list of pages it has discovered.

What’s in a search engine?

As we’ve said, search engines don’t look at the content on a page. They look at a page’s metadata. This metadata is the information about the page that’s included in the HTML code but not displayed in the page itself. There are many important properties that search engines use when listing pages. Let’s take a closer look:

The Google Search Engine Algorithm: A Deep Dive

Let’s take a closer look at how the Google search engine algorithm works. Every search engine has its own algorithm, but they all function in roughly the same way. To truly understand how Google works, though, we need to look at the process that occurs before you even type in a search query. First, the search engine crawls the web and creates a list of all the URLs on the internet. While this is happening, it also reads the metadata associated with each page. Then, the engine analyzes each page and calculates its value. This calculation is known as a “ranking factor”. It then sorts the results based on these factors.

How Does Google Know Which pages are most important?

Let’s see how this all works in detail. First, the engine analyzes each page and calculates a ranking factor for it. This ranking factor is a calculation that rates the page’s importance. By looking at each page and seeing how many other pages link to it, the engine can calculate a value for each page that represents its importance. The engine does this by looking at each page and seeing how many other pages have linked to it. The more pages that link to a page, the more important it must be. The fewer pages that link to a page, the less important it must be. Think of a page’s importance like a pyramid. The page at the top has many pages linking to it. The page on the bottom has no pages linking to it.