What are the tasks of Search Engines?
A search engine makes use of a set of rules, called an Algorithm to organize the word wide web (www). And so provide you the answer that you are looking for.
The first task of a search engine is to collect all the data and render it according to quality score and relevance. This is done through Crawling and Indexing.
Crawling is done by “robots”, sometimes also called “spiders”. They follow all the links on the web that are interconnected. By doing so, the billions and billions of sites can be found by the search engines. You can imagine it as an enormous railroad system, with connections and stops in every city of that country. And in all of the stops, connections or trains there is more information. The crawler collects that info and stores it in the correct data warehouse.
In order to make the information accessible in the fastest way the search engines have built large scale servers in locations around the whole world. To make sure that your results don’t take much more than a second to load. See below examples of a server farm.
But how do they do it?
The minute you enquire about a certain topic the search engine “searches” through billions of documents, files and webpages to provide you the correct results. It looks first to relevancy of your query and then organizes or “ranks” the results according to popularity of those webpages.
The above makes it sound easy, but in order to become popular or relevant on the subject there is a lot of work to be done. We perform this daily for our clients, take a look here or here to see what we do.
In the early days a search engines simply looked at your query and pulled up the closest data that it could find. But over the many years the engines have gone through extensive improvements by skilled engineers. The current “smart engines” make use of hundreds of rules conveyed in algorithmic patterns in order to provide you the most accurate result.
Algorithms are a set of mathematical equations that include the factors to rank the results according to relevance and popularity. A good survey from moz.com shows which ranking factors are most valuable, if you like to read it please check it here.
How do Algorithms work?
The Myths of Search Engines
Many times we have heard several untrue facts, because nobody really and fully understands all about the Search Engines algorithms there is always room for speculation. I would like to address some of those so called Search Engine Myths here.
A search engine looks at backlinks to determine the popularity. A backlink is a link from one site to another, picture it being from a site like behance.net pointing to your own website. Let me put it like this, in election time candidates collect votes and gain popularity, you can see the sites and links as candidates and votes. The more votes the better your site’s popularity and needless to say the better your ranking.
It happens when a site finds similar or useful content on the other site and wants to use it as a reference.
But many times it will be not so “natural”, the site will charge you for a link on their site. This is considered spam by the search engines. You will be penalized when they find out that it is not natural.
Another spam technique is adding many keywords of the same topic in one page and so get a better position in the search results. This technique though has quickly been made redundant. With the use of smart engines, and quarterly content or link update checks sites that use this will be taken down from results.
Paid Advertisement helps organic ranking
There hasn’t been a single proof of evidence that it actually works. But in my opinion if you advertise quality products, services or content and people like it your metrics go up. This in my opinion will be picked up by the search engine, regardless of your paid or unpaid traffic. The most important factor is that the search engine offers the user exactly what he or she wants.
The first image of this page shows a project called: “The Data Center Mural Project”. The idea is of Google Inc., and it is as follows: The billions and billions of queries everyday take up many miles of storage facilities, which are located all over the world. Google invited artists to create art on the walls of their centers. It looks great, and it makes the facilities less grey and ugly. Besides this project Google is improving the way they spend energy. Including more and more green energy to run their servers.
“It may look like a giant canvas, but this is a very special place that plays a special role in the operation of the Internet, which ultimately plays a role in the lives of a lot of people and mine, too,”
Watch the video down below for more insight into their project.
I hope that the article has been useful to you, and if you have any remarks or questions feel free to write me an email here. And I’ll do my best to get back to you. Thanks for reading, and share the info to people you think will benefit from this too, by using the share buttons below.