Today, there is no limitation of time and place for sharing information. Technology makes it easier for us to find almost anything. In fact, finding out about something is as easy as clicking the mouse with your finger. This is because the existence of search engine which become very helpful in providing the answers. It seems that there are no such things that search engines cannot find. However, how can a machine give you so many sources of answers for every question? Wondering how does it work? Here are some explanations about how search engines work that may inspire you.
1. Crawling and Indexing
Crawling is the way a search engine uses in finding the needed data. It can be best described as World Wide Web as a network of stops in a big city subway system. Each time a search engine discovers unique data (usually a web page, sometimes a pdf, jpg,or other file), it stops.
The search engines automated robots called “crawlers” or “spiders” can reach many of billions of interconnected data on the web through links. As it is explained by Vanessa Fox, one of Google formers, that Google learned about URLs… and then added those URLs to its crawl scheduling system. It deduced the list and then rearranged the list of URLs in priority order and crawled in that order.
After reviewing the required pages, the engines decipher the code and store selected pieces in massive database, to be recalled later for a search query. In order to accomplish the heavy task of holding billions of pages that can be accessed, the search engine companies have constructed datacenters all over the world.
These enormous storage facilities support thousands of machines procedural tasks of holding billions of pages with large quantities of information in a short time. Since, these days our society expects to find information quickly, so search engines need to provide the answers immediately with reducing the possibility of delay, as even a few seconds of delay can cause dissatisfaction. It is one of the main reasons why Google has become such a powerful search giant, because they give customers this understanding from the very start.
2. Providing answers
The idea of search engines is of being an answering machine. Its result derives from two methods. First, it returns only the relevant and useful results to the searcher’ query. Second, it ranks those results based on the popularity of the websites providing the information. This is why SEO is needed, for gaining relevance and popularity for the information.
How do search engines determine relevance and popularity?
To value the relevance of search engines is not as simple as in the olden days, where search engines find a page with the right words. Currently, smart engineers have developed better techniques to match the searcher’s queries, where hundreds of factors influence relevance.
A search engines will put a site into a popularity and relevance category based on what is typically assumed that the more popular a site, page, or document, the more valuable the information it contains must be.
Popularity and relevance determine through mathematical equations (algorithms) to sort the wheat from the chaff (relevance), and then to rank the wheat in order of quality (popularity). These algorithms often compose hundreds of variables. These what are called “ranking factors” in search engine marketing field.