Search engines work when they crawl data from billions of other pages on the internet. Then, they use their web crawlers to do so. These web crawlers are also known as search engine spiders or bots. A search engine directs the internet by downloading different web pages. It also gives links to follow so that new pages can be discovered.

search engines work

To display your website in the search results, the first main thing is your content. Your content must be prominent for the search engines. It is the most significant component of SEO. If the search bots don’t find any content on your website, they will never display your site in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

What Is A Search Engine?

A search engine is a tool or software that is designed to make searches on the internet. This means you can search for any information on the world wide web for any query. The results shown are presented in a line and are called SERPs.

Information is displayed in the text, images, videos, research papers, infographics, links to web pages and other various file types. In addition, there are a few search engines that extract data from open directories and databases.

These are other than web directories which are maintained by human editors. Instead, open directories are maintained by the search engines themselves. They manage the real-time information by applying algorithms on the crawlers.

How Do Search Engines Work Exactly?

There are three main tasks of the search engines. These tasks include crawling, indexing and ranking. The first step is to crawl the web pages related to the searched query. Once the crawling is done, then all the relevant pages are indexed in the search engines. After that, they are being ranked based on their content and SEO factors.


The process of visiting the web pages by search engine bots is called Crawling. It downloads pages and obtains the links to get new pages. Search engines keep track of the crawled pages. They make sure that the pages they crawled are not changed after some time. If the information on those pages is changed, then crawlers will update the index.


The process of arranging the web pages in order of their information preferences is called indexing. In this way, when any query is entered on the search engine, the results are displayed quickly. However, searching the relevant information at run-time can be a quite difficult and time-consuming task. This is why search engines index the relevant pages for the queries.


When the web pages are indexed, they are arranged in the order of preference. Search engines rank these results in the order of most preferred to the least preferred. To rank the web page, it must have unique, detailed and authenticated content. It should have strong backlinks. Also, the SEO factors must be keenly observed while you rank your web page.

See how an SEO Specialist can help you rank better in Google.

Searching Online

Different people may use different queries while searching the same thing online. The same query is rarely searched for the same thing. The search engines focus on the main words that are searched. Then they index all those pages or results related to that query.


When the next search is done related to that query, then again, these results are shown. Results are often changed based on the number of clicks and the time spent on that particular page. If a user stays for more time, then that result is moved on the top.

But this is not the only factor to rank the page. You can search the focus keyword only, or you can type the whole sentence. The search engine will understand the query and show results according to that.

How Do Search Engines Crawl?

Crawling is done by downloading the robots.txt file of the website. This file has all the rules of the website. It contains information about what page a search engine can crawl and what not. It also has the sitemap details, and the URLs which search engine crawlers are allowed to crawl.

web crawlers

These crawlers work based on many algorithms and rules. These rules help the crawlers in determining how many times a specific page can be crawled. It also shows which pages can be indexed. For example, a page that is changed frequently will be crawled more than the one which is rarely updated.

How Do Search Engines Index?

To get what you want, the search engine needs to check the indexed pages for your search. The index is made by using a program called web crawler. It searches the internet and saves the details about all the pages that it has visited.

Whenever the crawler visits any webpage, it makes a duplicate of that page and indexes its URL. After doing this, the crawler follows each and every link on that page. Then, the process of copying, indexing and following the links is repeated. This process keeps on going until a huge index of that search result is formed on the search engines.


Some websites do not allow web crawlers to visit them. These pages are left from being indexed along with those that no one links to. The indexed data and put together is then used by the search engines to show you results. This is called search engine indexing. Every search result that is shown to you is at least once visited by the crawler.

Crawl Budget

Whenever you talk about indexing, you must focus on the crawl budget. Generally, the crawl budget is a terminology that tells us the number of resources that Google uses to crawl a website. This budget is based on a few factors, of which the following two are the core:

  • How fast your server is?
  • How important your site is?

Why A Page Is Not Indexed?

There can be many reasons why a URL is not indexed by the search engine. A few of them are:

  • Robots.txt file does not exist.
  • Directives do not allow the search engine to index the page.
  • A 404 Not Found HTTP Error.
  • Search engines consider the page to be low quality or have duplicate content.

How Do Search Engines Rank?

Every search engine has a different algorithm to function. This means that the same query searched from different search engines will show different results. In addition, these algorithms are changing day by day to improve the results. So, knowing how these algorithms work is important for understanding how do search engines rank?

Any site owner will want his site to rank on Google. This process of ranking is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Several factors affect the ranking of the website. These are called SEO factors. To get your site ranked, you must know these factors and work on them.

The Key Factors For SEO

The key factors that are responsible for the better SEO of the website are:

How Do Search Engines Order Results?

Search engines order the results in a way to show which links are powerful and most useful. PageRank is a famous algorithm that improves the results of the web page. If a webpage has more links, then that webpage is considered to be more useful. So, this webpage will be on top of the search results.

Also, See the 105 important Google Ranking factors you must consider in 2021.

The results on the first page of the search engine are those that are considered best by the PageRank. Other factors affect the result order. These include the domain name of the website. It must be relevant and authenticated.

How Search Engines Work Today?

It all starts with indexing. It means that adding your websites’ content on Google. There are many ways to index your website on Google. But the easiest way is to do nothing. Google crawlers follow the links of the website. Given that your site is already index and new content is available on your site. Google will find it out and will add it to its index.

Do Crawlers Have Access To All Of Your Content?

You have learned a few tactics of knowing that search engine crawlers do not focus on your unimportant content. Now let us look at the tactics that help Googlebot find the important pages of your website.


A search engine is designed in a way that it finds parts of your site while crawling. Some pages may be hidden for any reason, so they can’t be crawled by search engines. You must know that search engines can discover every content on your website.

Is Your Content Behind Login Forms?

If an author wants its users to log in to his site. Then answer survey questions before a user could access a specific piece of reading; in this case, search engines would not notice those pages.

Are You Relying On Search Forms?

Robots are not able to use search forms. However, many people believe that they must have a search box on their website. This will let the search engine find the content easily.

Is Text Hidden Within Non-Text Content?

Indexed multi-media should not be used to display as text. The best way is to add words that must be within the HTML markup of the website. Unfortunately, though search engines are progressing in identifying images, there is still no surety they will interpret.