A Step by Step Guide About Search Engine Working

You must be amazed why I have shared the following graphic of search engine result?

This graphic is compelling in itself that I cannot stop myself to share this with you.

Google Search results per second

When I opened internetlivestats.com page to know the Google search numbers, by the time it has already done 67,790 searches just in one-second (red box). It conducts 56,681 average searches in one-second (black box), which converts to over 8.2 billion searches per day worldwide.

This is the Power of a Search Engine. Before moving to any technical aspect of Search Engine Optimization, it is necessary to understand the basic functioning of search engines because your website’s visibility is dependent on the search engines results.

Earlier, there were different mediums to market the products and services, like TV commercials, billboards, radio ads, yellow pages, magazine ads, etc.

For a focused and loyal customer, these mediums are still performing well.

But for wider circulation, the Internet is considered a far better medium.

Nowadays most of the people have Internet access in their homes, offices, Engine ?etc. For every single information, they depend on the Internet and the search engines.

That is why search engines have become the most effective way of learning and monetizing.

While going through all this information above, you all must be wondering What is a Search Engine?

Let’s start with answering this question.

What is a Search Engine? 

Search Engine is a software designed to search for the information on the World Wide Web (www). Or you may call it a medium to find the solutions to your queries on the Internet.

In a simple language, it is a customer care executive seated at the information window. Responsible for delivering solutions for your search queries in no time (0.52 seconds).

Various steps describe the entire functioning of a search engine. We will discuss them one by one.

But first, take a look at the below graphic which shows the screenshot of a Google search query.

To get clarity of the process, we first need to understand what is a Search Engine Result Page (SERP).

How do you use a Search Engine:

SERP-Search Engine Result Page

SERP is the first page of a search engine where you type a query.

In the above graphic, I have shown the example of a query, i.e. ‘Google Adwords.’

Also, I have used Google Search Engine to search the results.

So I first entered www.google.com in the address bar.

1. Address Bar:

The address bar is like a search box where you enter the name of the website. It acts as a search box for finding an address or phone number in a directory.

First, you need to enter the website address (Ex: www.abcd.com or abcd.com ) on this bar if you know it exactly.

If you enter the wrong address, you will land nowhere. The search results will show that this website cannot be reached. So, be particular about what entry you are going to make.

There is another option that will guide you to your desired page. You can open any search engine in your address bar, and from there you can search your query.

Nowadays most of the web browsers come with the default search engines settings.

2. Search Box:

When the main page of the search engine is opened, you will find a bar having a blank space and the search button.

This bar is the search box.

Here you can type any query you want to search on the Internet.

3. The Number of Indexed Sites:

When you enter your search query, Google or any other search engine displays the number of results it has fetched.

These search results are the number of websites that have been indexed by your search query (“Google AdWords.”)

It also displays the time taken in listing those results.

In the early 90’s search engines were not so much efficient, they took years to list out 10 million websites.

But nowadays search engines can list out almost 10 billion websites in just 0.52 second.

4. Number One Search Result:

The website with the most appropriate content or the most optimised content will display in the first position.

This position is the most competitive one.

Website optimisation is very important as this enhances the visibility.

Chances of your website being on the first page of the search results depend on this.

The optimisation is done to drive the organic traffic to the websites.

Search Engine is like a Xerox Machine. It makes a copy of the document you have.

“The basic difference between a Search Engine and a Xerox machine is that Xerox machine does not store your data, but the Search Engines do store your website/document data in the central database.”

How does a Search Engine Work in simple terms

Search engines have evolved drastically if we compare it to 1999-2000.

Based on the link based and text-based search results and keywords stuffing in metatag are the gone old school days.

Now search engines are so smart that they can read your intent.

They take your search term and search the oceanic database and give you most suitable results of your search term. For example

People :

Search engines are one of the best examples of artificial intelligence.

Unlike the text-based search results, now they provide you with more visually rich multimedia results.

A search term “Elvis Presley” gives you result including his official website, his life story (Wikipedia), all his top songs, videos and the latest news, his quotes and the relation with other celebrities.

It gets your intent that you want to read about his story or want to search his top songs or videos or latest news.

Search engine result- elvis presley


The Search engine doesn’t give you the basic information of your search term.

It reads your intent and gives matching result accordingly.

For example, If you search a query  ” Indian accent restaurant” on the search engine. Search engine result - indian accent restaurant

Search engine read your intent that you are planning a lunch or dinner.

So based on your intent of having dinner it will provide you following information:

  • Location/address of the restaurant
  • Rating of the restaurant
  • Review of the restaurant
  • Timings of the restaurant
  • Cost per person
  • Menu card
  • Online delivery option
  • Images of the restaurants

It is the sole purpose of the search engine to give you best and useful information against the search term.

SO that you can take the best decision in the less time.


The search result of a query “pdf scanner” gives you the solution.

It doesn’t give you lengthy articles describing what pdf scanner is.

Search engine result - pdf scanner

When you searched the term pdf scanner google sensed your intent that you want to scan documents.

It directly provides you the tools in the form of Android app, software, the solution providing companies.

The search engine can read your intent. So this becomes very easy for us to catch the readers intent.

It means you don’t need to focus on low competitive keywords; you can easily search for the intent by google suggestions or google autocomplete feature.

Place all the suggestions in your post and get recognized by the search engine.

This can improve your ranking as well as improve the visibility.

Step by Step How search engine works

A search engine works on algorithms which are a top secret.

But still, by practical experiences and analytical approaches, Google Webmasters have categorized working of search engines.

There are five steps which lead your website/blog/URLs to appear in any search engine. These steps are as follows:

  1. Website Creation
  2. search engine Submission
  3. search engine Crawling
  4. Indexing or link crawling
  5. Information Retrieval

The first two are the manual process which is undertaken at the user end.

While the last three are the automated process undertaken by the search engine bots.

We will discuss all these steps in detail one by one.

1) Website Creation:

search engine-website creation

Website creation is the most important step. This step decides the future of your website.

So first of all, you need to understand the basic concept of website designing.

There are many steps involved in designing a website.

These steps may vary from business to business. But the below-mentioned steps are a must to follow in building and running a successful website.

  • Niche Decision
  • Information Collection
  • Planning
  • Setting Up new website
  • Designing & Appearance
  • Execution & Trials
  • Maintenance

2) Submission:

search engine-website submission

Creating your website is an important step. But it is not enough to gain popularity.

From this point, the actual process of recognition starts.

If you do not take necessary steps, your website visibility on search engines will take longer time.

This is like searching some unindexed facts in a book. You have to spend a huge amount of time for searching that fact all by yourself.

So after website creation, you must take the first step of indexing the website in search engines.

There are two ways to submit your website to the search engines.

  1. URL Submission
  2. Sitemap Submission

URL Submission

There are various platforms in search engines that accept the URL of your website to index.

But there is no guarantee that your website URL will be indexed.

That is why you should always submit your website to major search engines (e.g., Sitemap Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask).

Sitemap Submission

A sitemap is submitted in the cases where the size of a website or a blog is huge.

A sitemap is nothing but a combination of web pages connected in an organized manner.

These combinations consist of a document used as a planning tool for web design or a list of web pages arranged in a hierarchy.

This can be in any form in which a search engine can use it to reach the content and index it completely.

A sitemap is organized in a manner such that a spider bot can easily move from homepage to other pages and its components.

There are two types of sitemaps:

a) XML Sitemap

b) HTML Sitemap

XML Sitemap is invisible and submitted through Google Webmaster tool. A user doesn’t need to recheck the entire thing. He/she can submit and resubmit a sitemap in Google search console. Rest of the things Google itself will take care of.

HTML Sitemap is usually written in HTML language. The user cannot submit this to Google Webmaster tool because of the difference in format.

Neil Patel, the top marketing expert, has explained the website submission in his video.

3) Crawling:search engine crawling

Crawling is the main process performed by the search engines. In this, several small spider bots move into the Internet web.

They collect information and bring them back to their central store/safe house.

We can correlate these web bots with the insects. Their food is text, and they follow a path.

For the better collection of text (indexing of website), they need to follow clear paths (no broken links).

Otherwise, they will deviate from their original path, and the information they carry will not be sent to the central web server.

So it is essential that your website should be well organized that can be easily found and indexed by Google bots.Web Crawler

Web crawlers are like spiders. They follow their path of food; In case of search engine crawler, seed URL is the food.

Web crawlers follow the seed URL then they enter in the web spider.

In the spider web all the essential ingredients like homepage, images, links, videos, pages, posts, Infographics are interlinked with each other.

If the seed URL is well interlinked with the website content, then the link juice will be travel faster, and the possibility of website indexing in the search engine will increase.

Backlinks have more importance as they provide immediate link juice, so you should have good quality backlinks.

Quality backlinks increase the PageRank and your possibility to rank higher in the search engine.

Matt Cuts has explained “How search bots crawl” well in this video.

4) Indexing:

When spider bots search or crawl over links, they start with a list of URLs called seed URLs.

Then they index all hyperlinks and make a copy of that web page.

All the web pages cannot be indexed altogether. Because the bandwidth of crawls is not infinite. They are efficient and scalable.

So when these crawlers come to the central server database. They transfer all the data to the server for analysis.

There are specific crawling policies on which indexing of the pages depends.

By these policies, either all the pages or some of the pages get indexed by Google or any other search engine server.

This reflects when a user tries to search for a query related to your website’s keyword rich text.

5) Information Retrieval:

search engine information retrieval

When a user types something on Google or any other search engine, the search engine lists all the results related to that query.

Several web spiders start fetching web pages, and they follow links from one point to another.

Soon they list billion of pages. Imagine how fast they search. Thousands of machines/computers work together to fetch the search results.

Just wondering, out of those thousands of results how Google decides which is the best possible solution?

Well, it evaluates more than 200 question for that. Like,

  • No. of pages having the same phrase or keyword?
  • Is the phrase in the SEO title or meta description?
  • Is Keyword/phrase in the URL?

And so on…

Google search engine working is really complex. No one can perfectly understand its working.

We can only assume on the basis of practical trials.

Neil Patel, the famous social marketing guru has also written a very good post on the search engine working. 

I have enlisted all the key points in this infographic form which give a practical view about search engine.

Search engine working-infographic

Hope this article was helpful to you guys.

Do write us in the case of any concern.

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3 comments Add yours
  1. thanks,
    i was little bit confused while submitting website to search engine , but your article helped me out to do things in a better way.

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