Understanding Search Engines

Published: May 30, 2019

Understanding Search Engines

It is imperative for us to understand the process that runs behind Search Engines before implementing Search Engine Optimization techniques. It is always better to at least know how search engines were evolved, what are its processes and components, how it provide answers to our search queries. Although its not relevant to any of the search engine methodology, it could be useful when we are trying to connect the dots of any puzzle involving SEO techniques. Lets understand the above with the help of an example, we purchase a car, and we are provided a service booklet that mentions all the necessary steps to be undertaken for smooth functioning of our vehicle, and that would only happen if we know our vehicle well. Similarly, if we understand processes involved behind Search Engines well, then we would be in better position to take necessary steps while implementing search engine optimization techniques.

We consider search engine as a tool through which we could resolve our queries on the web. How search engine does that - it simply analyses our search queries and searches the web for us and returns with the most relevant websites. The web pages where the results are displayed are called Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). The information or the result of our search could be of any type depending on our request. That could be in the form of images, videos, articles, research papers, books, journals, or of any other type.

The next question that comes to our head is, how search engines could return with the answer to our queries so quick? That is possible with the help of crawlers. Crawlers searches the web and index websites' content. This make search engines return with the results efficiently. A crawler is also known as a spider.

Archie is considered as the first search engine. Launched on September 10, 1990 - Archie was mainly a tool used for indexing FTP archives. Thereafter, there were a series of search engines launches, and the most prominent one, back in the time, was AltaVista launched in the year 1995. In few years time, Google was launched in the year 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were its founders. Initially, they nicknamed their search engine "Backrub" because it ranked pages on the basis of number of backlinks. Later, Yahoo acquired AltaVista and came up with its own search engine. Microsoft too came to fore and developed its MSN search in the year 1999, it is now known as Bing.

As of now, Google has been topping the charts when it comes to market share and it is the most-sought after search engine.

Till now, we have had a brief understanding of a search engine. Next, we will discuss the processes involved inside a search engine.