How do search engines work?

Search engines are the key to finding the needed information amongst a great variety of posts and articles on the world wide web. Without complicated search engines, it would be simply impossible to allocate any piece of information on the Web without knowing a specific URL. However, do you have an idea how search engines work? And do you know those ways that make some search engines effective and some not?

When people talk about the term search engines in relation with Web, they are referring to those search forms that search through the HTML documents. Actually, there are three different types of search engines. The first group of search engines include those engines that are powered by robots such as crawlers, ants or spiders. Another group of search engines are those that are powered by human submissions and the other one is literally a hybrid of the two.

Crawler-based search engines are those that use automated agents that visit the site, scan the content, links and meta tags. The crawler periodically come back to the site to check out whether information has been updated recently. The frequency of such verifications are determined by the administrators of the search engines.

The human-based search engines completely rely on humans to submit all the information that’s catalogued and indexed. The information that’s put into the index has to be submitted first.

In any case, when you plan or query to locate information in the search engines, you’re basically searching the index that the search engine has created, but not the web on a whole. There exist giant databases of information that’s stored and often searched. This all well explains why a search on a commercial search engine such as Google or Yahoo! for example can return dead links. If the index hasn’t been updated since the web page became outdated and even invalid, the search engines would still treat the page as if it were an active link.

So how does it happen that the same search on different search engine system produce different results? Obviously, one of the reasons is that not all the indices work in the same way. It depends on what people submit and what spiders find. Another important element that search engines scan is the frequency and location of keywords on a web page. Besides, you also need to pay attention to the way the pages link to other pages on a website.


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