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About Search Engines

The World Wide Web is primarily composed of billions of HTML pages interconnected through hyperlinks. A web search engine is an application that basically organizes all the information available on the internet in a way that it is available to everyone. You wouldn’t know about a new product or a shop unless it is advertised. Similarly, you wouldn’t know a website exists until it is publicized. That is the integral part of what search engines do. They search the internet for pages, index them, and show you the relevant sites when you search for specific content.

How Search Engines work?

Essentially, the search engine runs two main processes at the backend – crawling and indexing. Every search engine has a web crawler – an intelligent piece of code that searches the internet methodically, combing through the heaps of information available and making relative entries in the index of the search engine.

Search Engine Crawler

The web crawler scours the internet in order to find what’s new, to keep the index updated. When something new is found that hasn’t been already indexed – it’s inevitable with the amount of internet users across the globe - the crawler then indexes the webpage with words from its content so that when those words or similar keywords are searched, the page will come up in search results. The web crawlers work non-stop to ensure that the index is never obsolete. They also rank the pages that are indexed according to their demand. The pages that have more traffic are the popular pages with high access demand, so search engines would rank those pages higher, so that they may have more visibility in relevant search results. A more sophisticated web crawler makes for a more robust search engine.

Search Engine Index

Although an index that just stores keywords with corresponding URLs should work just fine, but it will not offer the best, perfectly-matched results that people want. So, in addition to the words and URLs, modern search engines also assign a weight to an entry that effectively represents the role of the word in the URL – for example, if a word occurs in the heading or the URL of the page it will be ranked higher than the page where it occurs somewhere down below. This is just an instance of how a search engine might rank pages. Every engine uses unique algorithms to assign weights to pages.

Search Engines New Horizons

Modern search engines are trying to incorporate natural language into their indexing mechanisms so that they may improve their search results and make them much more relevant. This would also make querying exponentially easier, as people would be able to ask questions from the engine just as they would ask another person.
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