When users tend to search queries related to a specific topic, we need help to show the results on the first page. So, for that reason, we use search engines to search the required websites on the internet for the users.

This search engine’s work is to look into its database first to segregate the result lists by using its search algorithms before displaying the results to the end-users. The results that get displayed after the segregation process is what is called a search engine results page.

We know many search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. The real purpose of all these is to search and provide answers to the people.

How do Search Engines Work?

Search engines have their unique way of working, and they tend to differ in several ways, but all of them still provide the same answers and are built on 3 solid fundamental rules. They are:

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Ranking


When you add new web pages to your website, the crawling process takes place to discover the new pages. Usually, search engines use spider bots, a small program that helps to follow your already existing pages and then to the new ones that are written and need to be discovered by the bots.

When the crawling process takes place, sometimes new pages come across the bots through a link, and they scan the page and pass it for further processing, known as indexing. This process goes on and continues to discover new web pages.


As the crawling process completes, now next process known as indexing starts. In this process, the bots validate the pages they crawled and store the content of the webpages in the search engine’s database, which is called the “index”. An index is nothing but a repository where all the data of the indexed pages of all websites is stored.

Moreover, if you want your page to be displayed in search results, it should be indexed. The process of crawling and indexing is a never-ending process, as people create many web pages every day. Therefore, search engines must crawl and index them to display fresh results.

So, once the process of analyzing and saving in the index is done, the search engine can now display the page when a query is placed.


The final phase is the ranking process, where the search engines have to decide what pages to display in the search results and the order they need to follow when a user types a query.

Ranking factors are decided through ranking algorithms. Algorithms are nothing but techniques with rules that tend to analyze what a user is searching for and what type of information it needs to return. 

The displayed results are extracted based on the rules and decisions made by the algorithms which completely depends on the information available in their stored index.

How do search engine algorithms work?

The algorithms that search engines use to rank websites have evolved and become increasingly complex over the last few years. At first, matching the user’s query with the page’s title was all needed. However, now, approximately 255 rules are taken into account by Google’s ranking algorithm.

As we see now, everything has changed; many computer programs and machine learning programs have made the decisions easy, keeping in mind certain parameters to be met on the page content to be displayed. 

Let’s check on how search engine ranking works

User Query Analyzation

Before starting to rank, search engines have to understand what information the user is looking for. Then, they have to break down the search terms depending on keywords with a specific meaning.

Let’s say you are searching for “How to bake a cake” Search engines understand that you are looking for “how-to” bake a cake, and they will search websites containing cooking and baking recipes for you.

Search engines look up any spelling mistakes and plural words used while searching. They extract the meaning of a query in a natural language that is either written or voice searched.

Find Pages that Match

The next step is to check the index and provide the correct answer for the user query. Displaying the desired results is an important factor for both the owners and the search engines. 

A search engine aims to return the best possible results to its users within the shortest time frame, and web owners aim to have their websites picked up over search results to receive traffic and visitors.

Let’s see some good SEO techniques

Title and Content: You need to check if the title and the page content are relevant to what a user is searching for.

Content Quality: Whatever content you write, it needs to be useful and provide the right information about your pages to the users.

Content type: It depends on what the user is searching for; is it text or images that should be displayed.

Website quality: Your website needs to follow proper structure while building its pages. The quality of a website matters a lot here, as Google will not show your pages if it disobeys its quality standards.

Webpage loading time: Your website needs to load within 2 to 3 seconds more than other pages so that your results can be displayed on the first page of search engines.

Links: See that your pages have good quality backlinks to increase popularity over other websites. 

Mobile friendly: See that your webpages are mobile-friendly, keeping in mind that most users search through their mobiles.

Local Search: Most users search for results near them, so optimize your web pages for local search.


Search engine programs seem to be very complex, but the way they tend to crawl, index, and rank web pages perfectly according to the search query is far from simple. 

They follow the order of processing and sorting the data used by search engine algorithms that help make proper decisions and return the right results to the users. 

For more information, contact Ahbiv Digital Agency; we are here to guide you further.

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