Search Engines Made Easy

Most of us have used search engines like Google and Yahoo one time or another so that we can find information on the internet. However, we don’t actually take the time to think about how search engines, well, search. We take for granted the fact that the info we need is made available in mere seconds, and that’s what matters.

Whether you want to learn to improve your site’s visibility or are just plain curious, understanding search engines doesn’t have to be rocket science.

False assumptions

People think that when a keyword is typed in a search engine, the engine cross-examines the internet to find pages with the matching keyword. This is a logical assumption, but it’s not true. Search engines have their own copies or indexes of the internet, and when a keyword is entered, the engine searches its own index-not the whole web.

Search spiders

Google and other major search engines regularly recover webpage lists to add to their latest index. This is done by using special software programs better known as spiders. These search spiders crawl the web and add the pages of the sites they visit to their index. Afterwards, spiders then add the web pages in their search engine’s index.

What really happens

When a user enters a certain keyword, the engine’s software searches its index matching the keywords. It then arranges the pages according to rank, and finally, shows you the results.


Every search engine uses different technology to rank web pages. However, they have one thing in common to base their rankings on keywords- usually how popular they are and how many sites use these words or phrases.

What you should know

You need to keep in mind that even with spiders; an engine may not have every copy of pages in every site. However, even if does, the pages may not be up to date. An engine can also have copies of pages that are no longer in use from sites. When an engine comes up with a non-existent page, it generates an HTTP error 404. This means that the page you’re searching for doesn’t exist anymore. Remember, how an engine searches is the first step to understanding search engines.

What you should do

In order for an engine to come up with the information you need, be specific with keywords. And, if using more than 1 keyword, separate them with commas.

Next time you search, remember that your query will be more effective when you know exactly what you’re looking for- enter appropriate keywords So there you have it, understanding search engines made simple.

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