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How Does Search Engines Works: 3 Things You Should Care About
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How Does Search Engines Works: 3 Things You Should Care About

The majority of search engines mostly work in a similar way. In this guide, I will guide you through the history of search engine, how it works, and why search engines are important place to boost online presence & promote your business.

History of Search Engines

You may be wondering how all these search engines came about – the earliest known search engine was written as a program called Archie which was introduce in 1990, it allow people to search and get access to file names.

Though this computer program just display the names of these web pages but wasn’t able to crawl, scan and display the pages’ content.

Years later, Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Ask.com, AOL, Baidu, and Yandex, DuckDuckGo, are some types of search engines that have made name in their own way and has come a very long way.

All these Search Engines make use of some sort of complex coded programs to crawl, scan and index through a very large number of website pages. Now when people are looking for an answer to a problem, they type in a specific keyword or word phrase – called “search query”.

Now this is how search engines reply their query – search engines evaluate such search with its list of web pages, and return the best quality web pages to the searcher. These results are shown on the SERPs.

What is Search Engines?

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Search engine is a powerful software system that helps to find, identify, analyze and display the most relevant, vital possible results for a user whenever they make any search query using a specific keywords or phrase on the internet. 

The aim and objective of any of these search engines is to dish out the most appropriate list of answers, to assist anyone looking for a solution online get the best result.

These results in form of web pages are connected to websites, local business listings, maps, videos, ads or items for purchase and many more. You may want to ask – how does this process affect me?

Now let me explain, let say you have a shop where you sell coffee located at Cotswolds. Now if anyone searching for coffee shop Cotswolds – this is you – this is the best chance to appear on search engine result pages.

Another instance is; imagine you are a technician that repairs refrigerator and wants to show up on search when people search for related keywords or phrases.

This is because, the keywords entered into the engine shows that the person is looking for a product or service at that time.

Now you can now begin to see why search engines are an awesome place and also a means to target people that are searching for those products and services you’re offering.

This is the truth and the same reason many digital marketing agencies or personnel will tell you that the engine is very important for their both digital marketing strategy – the results speaks louder.

Though there are other ways to advertise online your brand or business, like email marketing, display advertising, social media marketing. But the search engine is an awesome place to start promoting your business online.

Now let’s get down to how the engines work;

Understanding how search engines works

In this section of this guide, you’ll get to know how these engines finds pages on web, what they make do with these pages and its decisions before displaying these web pages to online users.

Thinking of the technology used by these search engines is too complex to comprehend, especially when you are looking for a coffee shop that’s close to your location.

This is because you might be wondering – how would these engines quickly sorts the whole of the internet and dish out the results you see on search engine results. The truth is, search engines make use of software programs that are very complex, but their mode of operations is the same.

Search Engine Primary Function

They all execute three main functions;

1. They Crawl web pages

The first task these search engines do is to examine web pages or content they learnt or have knowledge about. Let’s quickly look at how these work – Search engines crawls the web to discover content, like web contents or pages, images and videos.

Each of these engines uses computer programs called robots or bots, crawlers or spiders to make their way and get through the web pages.

The robots run from pages by following links to other pages. These robots never stop crawling; their main intent is to continuously visit pages looking for new or updated links and new content to be added in the index.

2. They Index Pages

After examining and crawling these web pages, they group these contents in categories. Now the index is an extremely large list comprising of web pages and content discovered bots. This index is used by search engine to get or retrieve information which it displays on the search results pages.

But one thing is sure, not everything discovered by the bots make it through into the engine’s index. For instance, duplicated contents located on different websites wouldn’t be indexed.

Let me explain further, think of it that you are making a search query on search engine with the keyword coffee maker. If there are websites with the same title and description, search engines will make a decision on which one to index and which one not to.

This is because; it’s of no use for having duplicate content on the internet. So, it’s better to create you content, title and description with your our words for your website.

Cool? That’s how these engines crawls and index web pages. So whenever you enter a query into the search box, the engine checks the words and every phrase the website is making use of in its index, searching for similar results.

Let’s say, for instance, the search engine discovers 230 million matching results.

3. They Rank Pages

The last task the search engines do is to rank web pages; this is only achieved when it has decided which of the indexed web pages or content is most relevant. Then the most relevant is then ranked on the search results.

The secret behind the method these engines uses to rank web page is a top secret that’s yet to be unraveled.

There are many means these engines determine the rankings of web pages (Search engine’s Ranking Factor) – this includes the numbers of internal links, numbers of words in a page, the freshness and quality of the content.

Irrespective of the methods used by search engines for ranking, the main key is to link up every online user of the engines with what they’re looking for.

Let say you once read of an article about the Australian kind of cappuccino called flat white and you want to have a taste of the coffee. You may now make a search query with the keyword flat white coffee near me.

What search engine will do is to crawl and index web pages relating to your search and show you shop close to your location that sells the flat white drink you search for.

The engine may also include a map to further assist you find them easily. So, have you learnt something? Search engines are all the time making sure it hunts websites or the internet for content, arrange it, then put on view the most appropriate results to searchers.

So, if you understand these processes, it will help you craft your site the best it can be.

How search engines see the web.

Now it’s time to examine how do search engines find your website, the part of your website that helps them particularly, and effective ways to build search engine visibility on these engines.

Let’s say – you lodge in a search query on search with a specific word phrase, it then looks through its database of indexed pages and identify, arrange and display the most relevant web pages according to the keyword you’ve inputted.

Every indexed page on the internet makes it into the SERPs because search engines have recognized what intent they have. This way, it can categorize them accordingly and place them rightly in case a query is searched for next time.   

How Do Search Engines Find Websites.

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If you know and understand how search engines finds a website, then it will give you an insight for how you can optimize your website so it’s discovered and show up on search engine results when online users make a search query with keywords.

Now let’s say you are the owner of a shop where coffees are sold, and you’ve created a website to promote your website. You must know that the way see a website is different from the way engines find and see your website.

When the engine finds your website, what it tends to look for is the code contained in your website called the HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language).

There are particular sections and code of your website that assist the engine to understand the intent of it and what is about. And discovering which area of your website is important will help you to optimize it properly.

Here are the important areas to optimize on your website:

1. The title of the page in the code.

The title of your page is the first thing the engine sees, let say the title of your page is Cotswolds Coffee Shop, search engines sees this title in form of title tag enclosed in a piece a code.

To help search index your pages accordingly, you must ensure to use the title to describe its content, in doing this your website will be displayed in relevant searches.

2. Your Website Content

The next area to optimize for search engines to find your website is your content. Think about what people are searching for and what they want to see when they finally visitor your website.

What are the keywords people are searching for that relates to your website? These are questions you must ask before you can start creating content for engines.

Ensure to include the keywords people are search for into the body of your content and speak the language your customers want to read and interact with. In doing this, they will be able to find your content in the search engine results.

Lastly it is;

3. Your Website Images

The last area of your website you must optimize to for search engines is the images on your website. One truth is – search won’t see those beautiful pictures your content has the way you see them. But what they see is the code embedded in the image.

What search sees in your image;

Image’s description: Image description helps search to know what the image is about and the purpose for which it is used for. For instance, image001.jpg is not an optimized kind of image; rather iced-cold-coffee.jpg is more descriptive and tells search what the image is about.

Alternative tag (Alt tag) is another step to adding keyword to your image. With Alt tag, it describes the image, and helpful to persons using online browsers that don’t display images, and also people with visual impairments that make use software to listen to the content of web pages.

As I conclude this section, remember to use descriptions and titles for each of your site. Create content for your audience – include your keywords in your content to help engine understand what your pages are all about.

That being said, ensure to name your site images properly with image files that’s descriptive and adding the alternative text in the Alt tag.

What is meant by Organic Search Results?

Organic search results are free list of web pages in search that are displayed because are they relevant to someone’s search terms.

In this section, we’ll look into what organic (free traffic) results are, what SEO is, and how a well optimize website affects organic search results.

Let dive into details.

Using our coffee shop as reference – let’s say you have started to offer the real French macarons with the use of old family recipe.

There are definitely some persons in your locality that will want to have a taste of this international treat – some might even be searching now. The question is “how do they know you are offering this kind of treat” and how do they find you?

Organic search results explained

Now, when a person makes a search query on search engine, the outcome of this search displays a whole lot of web pages – these pages comprises of paid and unpaid (organic search) results.

These organic search results are displayed at the middle of the page, and these same unpaid pages displayed by search engines are considered the best overall for the search query entered.

Though, some result pages also contain paid pages (paid results) – these pages are separated and are tagged ads. Although both paid and unpaid results are displayed on the same result pages, but there is a huge difference between them.

You pay no dine to appear on organic search results. Sites do not and cannot pay to for their business or brand to be displayed here.

So here is another question – how can you improve your website’s chances of appearing in the organic search results? You have a big part to play and it’s all about the quality you’re offering.

What to do to improve your website chances on Organic Search Results.

Let’s reflect on it in this direction. The main objective of the search engines is to ensure that when people make any search query on them, they find whatsoever they’re looking for, so long there’s content for it.

Now if you’re able to help and alert search know that your website is what people are looking for, then you’ve given it a good shot.

Improving your website and making it appear on organic search results is known as search engine optimization (SEO). A good SEO entails giving search engine a better hand to find and know the intent of your site.

So, what’s that one thing that these engines love the most? Good, quality and unique content. Now reflect on those specific things your coffee shop’s potential customers will be looking for.   

Okay, let say your potential customers want macaron – they might want to make a search query on engine using the word macaron. But it’s a very broad word on search and may also interpret a customer looking for a recipe, guide of how to, an image or the history of pastry.

Having a good knowledge of this, it will definitely help you to channel your attention on appearing on search for locally made macarons with your locality.

With all these, you can focus on creating quality and unique content on the “how” – that’s ways macarons are locally made from scratch at your location and the “where” – that’s also the place your macaron can be gotten, or delivered to a particular location.

This can facilitate your website to appear on searches for macaron bakery, or related searches like the best macaron in Cotswolds or readymade macaron for pick-up now.

As I conclusion on this section on organic search results, having your website appear on them is a very good way to allow customers to discover you and your business, and most importantly – you don’t pay anything for your website to show up on them – all you need is to optimize your website for SEO.

Also, all you need to do is to make sure that you create content that’s relevant and qualitative to the people making search query, so they’ll click and visit your website.

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a type of digital marketing that entails the promotion of business or website by boosting its search visibility on SERPs mainly via paid ads.

Now that we’ve define what SEM is, in this section – we’ll be examining how search marketing works, it’s effect and how businesses contend to display advertisement.

How SEM Works

Let say you reside in the Cotswolds, and you’re looking for a coffee shop where you need to chill out. You decided to make a search on either of the engines via you mobile phone with the keyword ‘coffee shop Cotswolds’.

As you make this query, you’ll have a variety of pages to click. Every section on search page contains;

1. The map

2. The ads

3. The relevant organic search results.

These search engines results are ranked based on an algorithm formula.  They are considered as the most relevant web pages the search would find for such search query. The other parts are relevant ads.

From those ads pages displayed, you’ll notice that every of those ads relates to coffee shop and something relating to coffee.

You won’t see any other unrelated ads, interestingly; the ads are closely the same to the organic search results.

What makes Paid Search Ads Effective.

The main job of search engines is to display relevant results to its users according to their search query, and this includes the ads.

These adverts on search pages complement the organic search results you see, with the aim of helping people find whatever they’re searching for. So let’s look at the ways search engine advertising work.

There are several models through which this advertising works;

Text Ads  

Each time someone makes a search, advertisers contend for the chance for their ads to be displayed. And only the winner of the advertisers’ is displayed to searchers, and these are the ads that appear on the page.

So, how do search engines make a decision on whom get displayed? The primary mechanisms are the bid and the quality.

Bid is the highest amount any advertiser is ready to pay per click for an advert. So should any person clicks the ad, the advertiser is bill an amount equivalent to the bid.

Now let say you bids $2 for a keyword, the most you would pay for any single ad click. So if your ad appears on search pages and no one clicks on it – you won’t be charged, but if someone clicks on your ad, you’re charged per every click.

Usually, every bid equals to the value of the keywords to your business but the amount of every bid is up to you (advertiser).

For a keyword, you might want to bid 50c per click while others will be ready to pay $10. Well, bid typically vary from industry to industry, and keyword to keyword, see, bids are very important but quality is the key.

That an advertiser may bid higher than you but that doesn’t mean that advertiser wins the auction. Search engines compensate ads and keywords with better relevance to the search.

The truth is, the chance of relevant ads winning the top spots is very high on search engines result page even with lesser bids. Most times, it doesn’t matter how high a bid is, search results will not display any ads that’s not relevant.

As I conclude this section, know that paid ads is another form of digital marketing strategy you can employ to promote you products and services on SERPs.

With a well strategized search advertising campaign, you can reach new customers at very point in time when they search for what you’re offering.

What is Search Console?

Search console is a Google enabled web service that allows webmasters to access indexing condition and optimize their website search visibility. It’s a check-tool that gives you view on the subject of how your website is doing in Google search results.

In this section, we’ll look what search console is about and how to make use of it.  And tell you how it can be of help to you, and how to set it up.

Search Console Primary Function

1. Monitors your website performance in Google search results

2. Tells you how search engine sees your website.

What is Search Console used for?

Still using our coffee shop as reference – you own a website that describe your coffee shop and your website needs some upgrade. How can search console help your website?

1. The Search Analytics reports: this analytics can help you with

  • Which pages drive people to your website?
  • Which pages receive the most clicks to your site?
  • Which country are you having the highest customer.
  • How are your pages performing on social media?
  • Which other site linked back to you.

2. It helps monitor, maintain and troubleshoot your website presence in search engine result pages.

If you analysis the details is offering you and see words and phrases that are unrelated or irrelevant, it’s a clue that you should give the content on your website needs some consideration.

One more thing to give attention to is the number of clicks. Check the number of times your site appears on search engines without getting a click, if that happens, it’s another clue that your content doesn’t match what online users are looking for.

Also the “Links to your site” information shows sites that link to your site. Think of these links as website that found your content qualitative and relevant. These links should include websites that are relevant and related to coffee.

The “Mobile Usability Report” is another report you should look after – as more and more online users make use of mobile devices to get access to the internet.

Search engine console will single out any page(s) that doesn’t work well on mobile devices; you would fix those pages for better performance on mobile.

Search Console Main Reports

1. The Crawl Reports: Let you observe whether Google can visit your web pages. This is a key factor,  for the reason that if search can’t access your web pages, your content can’t be integrated in the search results.

2. The Index Reports: Gives you an idea about what information search confirmed about your site and let know you if your pages are accessible.

To get started with Search Console, follow this simple step

Go to www.google.com/webmasters.

Once you have signed in with your email, add your website and complete the verification to provide evidence you own the website.

That being said, search console will help you get your site’s report free, though it might take some days for you to see meaningful data. This is because, it needs to collect and process them – in case you see a “No data yet” message, don’t worry – just check back.

With console’s report, you can find a better way to build an online presence and boost your presence on search engines. You can also help search engine better understand your site pages and in turn get an awesome site performance.


Search engines scan all the pages on the Web, sort them out and put them into a coherent manner when a query is done on search. Having this perceptive on how this works can be of assistance your business.

Search engines catalogue the web to assist in connecting anyone making search query with just what they’re looking for. This feature makes the engines a big marketing tool.

Once your website is live on the internet, the more quality content you have the better. So get every of your content properly optimized to enhance your search visibility.

If this guide has helped solved your problem kindly share with families and friend so they too can acquire this knowledge. Thank you. 

Originally posted 2020-11-16 04:00:00.

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