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When we hear “search engine,” most of us think of Google. After all, it gets over 63,000 SEARCHES PER SECOND, and many believe the “internet” is what you see when you Google.
However, the results we see only represent what Google managed to find and decided to include in the search results.
But most of the content on the internet is NOT on Google.
- Because Google does not approve of everything, it blocks websites with prohibited content or follows illegal practices.
- According to its criteria, Google does not like all content (for example, a web page that does not value users).
- The website does not want to appear in search results, so it notifies the crawler not to index or include it in Google search.
It means that many websites cannot remain easily searched or found using it, and to access them, you must know their exact address. Fun fact: it is estimated that between 96 and 99% of the entire internet belongs to the Deep Web.
What is a Search Engine?
A web search engine is a software designed to direct and carry out a search on the internet. It is done by a user – on the World Wide Web, following a set of rules (known as an algorithm). Whose objective is to offer a page of search results. The algorithm shows what it “thinks” will help answer the user’s query (also known as a search query or query ).
A web search engine is a program that ‘brings to the surface’ the results of many websites. Which it considers the most suitable to satisfy the need or reason why someone wrote your search query.
For example, when you search for “How to make a grilled cheese sandwich,” the search engine goes through the entire Google index (which is like the digital version of a library) and shows you lots of recipes, videos, photos, etc.
The reality is that it doesn’t know what you want to see when you search for “How to make a grilled cheese sandwich”. But it shows you the websites that consider the best resources to help you solve your “problem” or inquiry.
How do Internet Search Engines Work?
All search engines compete with each other: Yahoo, Google, and Bing are independent and battle to get the attention of browsers, so they have not come together to decide unanimously how it should work.
Therefore, each search engine has a “secret formula” (highly complex mathematical calculations called algorithms) created by each company to deliver the best results to users.
Why? Because your customers are the people who are looking for something. And they need to give them good results so that they come back for more things. And stay exposed to the publicity they charge.
To make things even more interesting (and complex), these companies are always innovating. And constantly updating their algorithms to keep improving results, so we – the general public – will never know precisely how they work.
How does a traditional search algorithm work?
Suppose you are looking for an “Inbound Marketing agency,” and the search engine checks its index. Finding all the sites web that has tracked, and are relevant to the search you did.
It shows you all the sites found but organized in a particular way. Each search results page (SERP) only has room for ten organic results. And the search engine must choose who to show first, second, third, etc.
To do this, you rely on many ranking factors to help you determine which is the “best” or “most relevant” result. The algorithm comes in the rules that determine how a search engine understands and prioritizes a website.
Non-traditional search engines
Usually, when the term “search engine” mention, most people think of text-based searches, like google.com (a search engine based on crawlers).
However, thanks to constant technological evolution, we have seen the emergence of many other types of search engines and, therefore, various search engine algorithms.
Anything that “looks for something” is a search engine. But it doesn’t necessarily have the same algorithm that a text-based search engine uses.