Hawaii SEO – Understanding How Search Engines Work (Part 1)

For you to understand Search Engine Optimization better, you should also understand how search engines work. Whether you are a website developer, website designer, or just someone who enjoys blogging as a hobby, you better take time to read this post.

white and blue google logo

Knowing What Search Engines Do

Surely, you’ve used Google in search for information, in ordering for food, in shopping, and many other things. How many times do access the Google search engine in a day? 10, 20, 30, or even the 50 searches per day? Annually, Google gives solutions to over 1.2 trillion searches. Yes, it’s not a million nor a billion, but it’s trillions we are talking about here.

Indeed, search engines, specifically Google, have been embedded in our lives. It has been part of our routine; and we use it to learn, to shop, to be entertained, and to do business transactions. To some extent, we have been dependent to these search engines for almost everything yet people still don’t get the concept behind search engines.

We just know that search engines can give us what we need any time we want it. Google can acquire solutions to our queries in a matter of seconds. We just type a question and click search, but how does a search engine behind the scenes? Most importantly, how do search engines decide the order on how display the search results?

The How Part

Once you click the Search button, there a lot of things happening internally. Search engines strive to give you the best result for your query. How does this preparation happen? In simple terms, it includes 3 distinct steps: 1) discovering relevant answers, 2) organizing the results, 3) ranking it accordingly. In SEO terms, this process is called crawling, indexing, and ranking.

The First Step: Crawling

  • Search engines assign web crawlers to scan the different websites. Hence, the term crawling.
  • These crawlers are deployed to scan every website that they can find on the Internet. Also, crawlers scour the servers hosting these websites.
  • The crawlers list all the servers, websites, and they start searching. When the crawlers visit each website, they try find out the content, the number of pages, and so on. They scan every little thing whether it’s an image, a video, a javascript… basically everything!
  • Crawlers follow links found within a page. That’s how they discover more pages to crawl. To help the web crawlers (or spiders) to find pages within your website, be sure to have a good internal linking system. They do continually repeat this process so that they will know what pages are added, deleted, and modified.
  • As of writing this article, there are more than 1.5 billion websites worldwide. Remember, crawlers scan individual web pages. That’s a lot of work for the first step alone.

For the crawling process to work to your advantage, you need to take care of the following:

  • crawlers can access your website,
  • read your content properly,
  • and everything that will make their job easier.

Otherwise, the web crawlers won’t be able to scan your website correctly. Then, don’t expect to be on the top results of the SERPs. Make sure that the web crawlers won’t find a hard time by applying these tips:

More on: Understanding How Search Engines Work (Part 2)