Imagine a world without Google. You have the internet, you have the websites, you just don’t have the search engine.
You are looking to hire a wedding service provider. You type a few names in the browser, but you don’t get to the website – you need the exact URL. Even if you did get to the website, you would not know if they have the best rates (another website might have better services with more reasonable rates).
This is where search engines come in.
What are Search Engines?
Search engines are basically software programs that arrange websites on the web. Based on the keywords typed in its search bar, they look for relevant results and present answers to the users in a jiffy.
This has made searching for things online a piece of cake. From nearby restaurants to the history of Vikings, information is literally available at fingertips.
How do Search Engines Work?
This might all sound peachy, but what goes on behind the scenes is far more complicated than that. Search engines use complex, ever-evolving, algorithms to rank websites.
First, they scan all the web pages through the use of web crawlers. Web crawlers are programs that run through the entire World Wide Web and save information. Every time they visit a website, they make a copy of it. They keep doing this and form a huge repertoire of indexes.
When the user types anything in the search query, the search engine uses information provided by the web crawler and displays information accordingly.
The search engines do not just have to display results, they also have to rank results in order of relevance. For instance, if you are looking to hire a comedian for a corporate event, the search engine cannot show George Carlin at the top.
All search engines use different sophisticated mechanisms to rank websites. For instance, a common mechanism is to check the quality of links to a website. If 5 websites are linking to a particular page, that page might be quite relevant. The search engines constantly evolve and are now using other more advanced algorithms for ranking websites.
What’s In It for You
When people are looking for a service, the first thing they turn to is Google. If you cannot make your way to its top ranking, you might lag behind. Search Engine Optimization or SEO techniques are constantly changing and you need to stay on top of trends to make a mark in this dynamic landscape.