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Avinash Bendigeri Avinash is a developer-turned Technical writer skilled in core content creation. He has an excellent track record of blogging in areas like Docker, Kubernetes, IoT and AI.

Understanding How Search Engines Work

4 min read

There are more than 20 search engines around the world, but Google rules them all, getting more than 89 billion visits each month. If you are a DevOps or a tech enthusiast, you already know how vital search engines are to our overall online experience. This knowledge is especially crucial if you have your website and want to improve your SEO to raise awareness about your product, service, blog, or even your GitHub repository. 

You can find many blog posts and tutorials on the topic, which is great for you as it makes learning and tapping into that knowledge easier. Still, not everyone has the time to analyze many posts on the matter and gather all the relevant material. In this article, we will look at the key points of how search engines work and practical ways to leverage what we learn. 

Parts of Search Engine: How Google Tailors Result

How do all the different parts of search engines work to tailor results for you? Take the Google algorithm as an example. It dominates the industry with over 91% share of the global search engine industry. A large part of this is because of its ability to consistently deliver accurate and context-relevant results to search queries. To do this, the algorithm considers several factors, including the keywords in your search query, and weighs them against indexed web pages with the relevant terms (we will get to that soon). 

It also considers the pages’ relevance, rankings, and authority, as well as your location, age, language, settings, and even your search history, before serving you the most relevant results.

But it doesn’t just show pages that meet the scores. It tries to see if the page has any vote of confidence from other niche-relevant websites. The more other sites link to the page, the likelier the chances it will be at the top of your search results. 

This is why some businesses buy guest posts so they can have enough backlinks to improve their rankings. Besides, the algorithms got so well-developed that you can get variations in results if you use different devices. The cool thing about personalized results is that it saves you from needlessly scrolling through several pages to find what you need. 

Why Do You Need to Know How Search Engines Work?

Say you want to expand your business or attract new big clients. Where do you begin? A logical place to start would be sprucing up your website and online portfolio. But how do you get the target audience to see it and reach you? This right here is the reason why businesses and individuals learn more about SEO. Yet, there is more to it:

  • Understanding how search engines work can help you figure out exactly what you need to do to improve your website rankings and optimize your site so you can gain greater visibility.
  • You can track your site performance and enhance your SEM and SEO efforts.
  • It can influence your workflow as you gain a better understanding of how to improve software features for better search functionality.
  • This knowledge also equips you with the tactics to gain and maintain a competitive edge in your industry.
  • You can better understand how to communicate with clients across various industries.
  • It helps you learn simple yet effective marketing skills to retain clients and form lifetime brand loyalty.
  • An understanding of search engine basics allows you to implement better strategies for sustainable brand and business growth.

Guide to Search Engine Basics

More than half of all online experience begins with a search. By learning search engine basics, you can make significant changes that impact your work and drive traffic to your website. The best place to start is by learning about the following stages.

#1 The Crawling Stage

There are billions of websites and even more content on the internet. Search engine crawlers scour the internet for these sites, going through the page content, noting each new page, its details, and changes made to existing pages. The number of pages, navigation structure or link structure, content types, code formats, and other vital information are also taken into account. 

What Does This Mean for You?  

For one, you want to ensure that your code is clean and readable for the web crawlers, as this will impact your rankings and overall user experience. Remember that the denser your code is, the longer the loading time will be. This can slow loading time, leading to higher bounce rates. Ensure every page has at least one link to another page to improve navigation and crawlability. 

Also, at its core, crawlability is basically web crawlers following links, so you want to invest in link building to boost your backlink profile. That is why this Martal Group article recommends that those in the tech niche who need more backlinks should use white-hat link-building agencies to improve their backlink profile. 

#2 The Indexing Stage

Having a good grasp of search engine basics, like how indexing works, can be beneficial for getting your site to rank among the top in your industry in search engine result pages. Here is how this stage works. After the crawling phase, the information gathered by the crawlers is organized and stored so it can be retrieved quickly and efficiently for anyone who searches for the relevant keywords. Only indexed webpages get to appear in search results.

What Does This Mean for You? 

Some simple steps to improve indexing include submitting sitemaps to Google, improving your internal linking structure, etc. Regularly comb through your site using SEO software with a site audit tool like Semrush, Ahref, or Google Search Console (GSC) to catch any errors and fix them promptly. 

#3 The Ranking Stage

The ranking stage is one of those search engine basics that everyone seems to have a lot of opinions about, yet it can get pretty complex as you try to break it down. Here, the algorithm considers how well your web pages fit the required factors and then ranks them accordingly. For Google, the list could get up to 200 different ranking factors, including domain authority (DA), mobile responsiveness, content quality, and more.

What Does This Mean for You? 

Establishing effective SEO tactics is mainly about finding unique and personalized ways to apply your knowledge about ranking algorithms. Apart from optimization, you should never forget that Google prioritizes people-first content. This means that, first of all, you have to craft everything and anything with your audience in mind. Especially if you’re a marketer, it is way too easy to fall into the trap of overoptimization. Still, what you really want to start with is trying to learn more about the mindset of your readers. The more you know about your audience, the easier it is to provide value, enhance user experience and improve your search rankings.


It takes a lot of learning, practice, and patience to fully grasp how search engines work. Yet, the rewards are worth every bit of effort invested. The knowledge you gain can help you make more informed decisions that result in sustainable growth and brand loyalty. Besides, you can optimize your websites and build search-engine-friendly software right out of the gate. This makes it easy to boost web visibility, reach new clients, and increase your revenue potential.

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Avinash Bendigeri Avinash is a developer-turned Technical writer skilled in core content creation. He has an excellent track record of blogging in areas like Docker, Kubernetes, IoT and AI.
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