GT Bulmer | How A Search Engine Works GT Bulmer © Affiliate Power Central

When you think about the massive amount of information a search engine must go through and all the processing involved to return the desired results to you, it is truly amazing to consider just how a search engine works.

My previous post on this topic gave you a little Google Search Engine history. This post will provide some technical insight into the Internet search process.

Of course, Google isn’t the only popular search engine; others include Yahoo!, Bing, Ask, and AOL Search. Each has their own methods, procedures and practices for compiling and delivering search results, but the processes are similar in many respects. …

There are three primary processes involved when a search engine provides you with search results: Crawling, Indexing and Serving

Crawling: Crawling is the process where the search bots, spiders or robots scour the Internet to find new and updated web pages to be added to the search engine’s index.

The search bot (or spider or robot) uses algorithms to determine which websites to crawl, how often to crawl them, and how many pages to retrieve from a website. Basically, an algorithm is a carefully calculated computer program.

The crawl operation begins with a summary of website URLs, taken from previous crawl operations and combined with site map data from the websites being crawled. When a site is being crawled, the bot collects links located on How A Search Engine Worksevery web page and adds them to the overall list of sites to crawl. New sites, site updates and even dead links are recorded and used to update the search engine index.

Indexing: Once the crawl is done, every word, including the position of the words on every page, is added to the search engine index. Additionally, information found in the main content attributes and tags, such as the ALT attributes and TITLE tags, is also processed and included.

Serving: When a search query is entered into a search engine, before “serving” any results, the search engine computers dig through the compiled index looking for relevant web pages that will be of interest and benefit to the person doing the search. In the case of the Google search engine, the relevancy of a search result is influenced by more than 200 factors, including Google PageRank.

Imagine the number of computers and the amount of memory required to crawl the Internet, store the collected information and process it to find the best matches every time a search query is submitted!

Whenever I stop to think about how a search engine works, I am completely amazed at how well it works, all things considered. If you are interested, more search engine insight is provided in the eBook, Google Traffic Tips, Tactics and Strategies.

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* You might also enjoy these Affiliate Power Central blog posts:

A Little Google Search Engine History

Top 25 Ways To Get Free Website Traffic eBook

Keyword Research Tips

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How A Search Engine Works

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Filed under: Internet MarketingWebsite Traffic

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