Seeking The Truth: The 411 On Search Engines

Before the invention of the search engine if you wanted to get information about a topic you would have had to visit your local library and do your research there. Depending on the subject of your inquiry it could be an arduous task spanning a long time. Now it’s as simple as a few keyboard strokes on any web-enabled device and you can have the answer to any question almost instantaneously (half of a second after you hit the enter key).

It is estimated by Google Search Statistics that globally Google receives and processes over 1.2 trillion searches yearly. On a much more granular scale, it equates to roughly over 40,000 search queries a second. The children born in the information age don’t have a clue as to how this technology has both spoiled them and made them mentally lazy in terms of acquiring knowledge.

How Do Search Engines Work?

The first thing you must understand about search engines is that they do not search the web. Search engines were engineered to search their index of the web. This is accomplished with software programs known as spiders.

How Do Spiders Work?

Spiders are launched upon a query request and began searching several web pages. They then follow the links on those pages and retrieve the pages that they point to, follow every link on those pages and retrieve the pages that they point to, etc… This cycle continues until a massive amount of data (billions of pages) have been indexed. The spider then searches that index that includes the search terms you entered. Depending on your query you could receive hundreds of thousands of results.

How Does The Google Search Engine Decide Which Documents To Display?

By asking a list of over 200 predefined questions to help narrow your results. This is why when creating a query for your search the more specific you are the better your results will be.

How Were These Questions Contrived?

These questions are based on certain criteria created by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brandt. Their predetermined criteria can be broken down into eight categories:

  1. Domain Elements
  2. Page Elements
  3. Site Elements
  4. Linking Elements
  5. User Input
  6. Algorithms (unique to each search engine)
  7. Brand Elements
  8. Spam Elements

What Are Some Of These Questions?

Here is a list of questions that coincide with the above list of the eight categories:

  1. Does your domain start with the target keyword?
  2. Does your page have content that coincides with what the user is looking for?
  3. Do you have a sitemap?
  4. Do you have back-links from an older domain?
  5. Do you have organic Click Through Rates(CTR)?
  6. Is the search query accessing a local server, IP and domain name?
  7. Are people specifically searching for your brand name?
  8. Are you using any spam tactics like redirects?

What Is A Page’s Score?

A page receives an overall score once the over 200 questions are asked and answered. Once completed you receive your query results in the form of a list of available online resources for you to click on and investigate that include:

  • A Title
  • A URL
  • A snippet of the website’s content
  • Links to similar resources
  • Related Ads on the top and Right of your search results

I hope this made how search engines a little more understandable to you.


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