How Do Search Engines Work?

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When you know how search engines work you’ll have a proper understanding and expectation of how quickly things will happen, how they happen, and when changes will show up in the search engines.

site-structure

The first thing we need to know about how search engines work is there is a little thing called spiders. Spiders are a software program that is sent out by the search engine to find new information. We also call these bots or crawlers,  all three of these words mean the same thing. It’s a software program that the search engine users to request pages and download them.

This comes as a surprise to some people but really what the search engines do, is the use of link of an existing website to find a new website. When they find a new web page, they request a copy of that page and download it to their server. By evaluating that page, they find links to other pages within that brand-new website, and so they start requesting all these pages of the website. One by one they download pages off the website until they have downloaded a complete copy of that site. That’s what the search engines use to run the ranking algorithm against, and that’s what shows up in the search engine results page.

This is critical to understand. The search engines need to download a copy of your website if they can’t download a copy of your website it will not show up in the search engine results. The first part of search engine optimisation is making sure that the search engines are “seeing your website” and when we say “seeing” we mean they’re downloading your website. What we want to be sure is that every page has its unique address.

unique-url

This page here image denotes that this is the only place on the Internet that you will see this specific page of information. A URL is a mailbox, so when you see a URL published online or you see a URL in the search results or your browser bar, what you’re seeing is the mailbox for that document. Every document has a unique address, and so the search engines need to be able to access that address to make a copy of that page. We can see the process here that the search engines have to download a complete copy of your website to their servers. The searcher when they type in a search is processed through the search engines database, through the ranking algorithm and then those results come out of the database.

search-engine-process

So spiders, bots and crawlers, they make copies of your websites and your documents. Your website needs to be readable or see able to a search engine, and then the algorithm is applied to the documents that the search engine has downloaded to its database. The most important thing you can do is start building links to the website because search engines find new websites by following links around the Internet and once they find you, they frequently visit to ensure that they have the latest most up to date copy of your website

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