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Want To Know How A Search Engine Functions?

What is a Search Engine?

  • Search Engine is basically software that helps in searching through the web using various algorithms.
  • Whatever is typed and searched is called a search query.
  • The whole WWW(World Wide Web) is searched for a query.
  • Almost all the search engines work in a similar way, with a slight difference in their algorithms for fetching the results.
  • These algorithms are private to the organisations.
  • The Result of a search engine is a fixture of web pages, images, articles, gifs, graphics, and all the different types of files available.
  • One of the first search engines was Archie, developed in 1990 by Alan Emtage.
  • Archie use to search on the file system based on the file’s name.
  • There was no indexing and no search optimisation algorithm used in Archie.

How results are shown and pages are found?

  • Every Search Engines have their own software and algorithm to perform the searches, most of them work on the same path.
  • The only difference between the different search engines is their algorithm.
  • Three steps are performed for executing a single search query, these steps are common to every search engine.
  • In the first step, search engines examine the content of the files that they know and have permission to see.
  • This step is called Crawling.
  • In the second step, every page is categorised or divided into different categories.
  • This step is known as Indexing.
  • In the third step, the usability of the content is found, and the content is ranked according to that.
  • This step is known as Ranking.

How search engine is working?

  • Search Engine crawls the internet or we can say WWW(World wide web).
  • Crawling is done to discover content like web pages, images, graphics, videos, gifs, and different types of files.
  • There is a program or an algorithm that is used by the search engines to go through the content.
  • This program or algorithm is known as spiders or robots(also known as bots).
  • These programs or bots search every page and move from one page to another, continuously through the links.
  • Content is revisited very frequently so as to update the indexing and the ranking according to the changes made in the content.
  • The index is the list of the content that is visited by the bots.
  • When we try to search for something, the search engine searches its indexes looking for a match.
  • There is a great possibility that the search term is present in millions of different content present in the indexing.
  • Now the Ranking comes into play.
  • The ranking is done using different algorithms that are secret to the search engine organisations only.

How content is ranked by the Search Engine?

  • Although ranking algorithms are top-secret, there are a few things that are helpful to improve the ranking of content.
  • Length of a page, that is content length.
  • External links to the other contents.
  • Internal links to other content of your website.
  • There are the key factors that are generally used in a ranking algorithm.

How does the Search Engine Algorithm work?

  • The Search Engine Algorithm scans the whole page.
  • In the first step, the title of the page is scanned and indexed.
  • The title should be accurate to the searches.
  • In the second step, the content of the page is scanned.
  • Images present in the pages are scanned as the image name and the description not by how the image looks.
  • Image name should describe what the images show, so as to improve the indexing and ranking of the page.
  • An alternative text can be added to the images to give a proper description.
  • In this way, the search engine algorithm works.


In this blog, we have covered what a search engine is, how it works and how we can have our content at the top of the search result.


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