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How Google Search Works?

Discover the fundamental steps involved in crawling, indexing, and providing search results, and gain insights into how you can improve your website's visibility in Google Search. From understanding Google's algorithm-driven search process to exploring the sources of information on Google, this article covers all you need to know about how search engines work. Whether you're a website owner, developer, or just curious about how the internet works, this article is a must-read!
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Published on
May 22, 2023
Updated on
November 1, 2023
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In order to locate new pages to include in our index, web crawlers (software used by completely automated search engines like Google Search) regularly scour the internet. Actually, a large percentage of the pages displayed in our results aren't manually submitted for consideration; instead, they are discovered and added immediately when our web crawlers search the internet. The steps of how Search functions within the context of your website are described in this document. This fundamental information can assist you in fixing crawling problems, getting your pages indexed, and learning how to improve how your site looks in Google Search.

Google Search, one of the most popular search engines in the world, has its own method for understanding a request for further information. The Google search engine uses its algorithm to evaluate billions of searches each day and strives to deliver the most relevant search results.

The material on Google's site is combed through as part of its algorithm-driven search process. As a result, the Google search engine's algorithm works to deliver the best results for a user's search. The following actions might facilitate your comprehension of how the Google search engine operates:

Among the sources of information on Google are:

  • a webpage
  • Content that has been published by the user, including Google My Business and Maps contributions
  • a book scan
  • Internet datasets with a public domain
  • Videos, images, and a variety of other materials

How do search engines work?

Databases containing web content that can be searched are search engines. There are two key components to them:

  • Search Index : A digital repository for knowledge about websites.
  • Search Algorithm : Matching results from the search index are the responsibility of one or more computer programs.

To produce results from web pages, Google follows three fundamental steps:

Step 1: Crawling

The initial step is to determine the current web pages. Google must continually search for new and updated web pages to add to its database of known pages because there is no repository for all web pages. "URL discovery" is the name of this procedure. Because Google has already viewed some pages, they are well-known. When Google follows a link from a well-known website to a new page, other pages are found. For instance, a hub page, such as a category page, may link to a fresh blog post. When you give Google a list of pages (a sitemap) to crawl, additional pages are found.

After acquiring a page's URL, Google may visit (or "crawl") it to discover what is on it. In order to crawl the billions of pages on the web, we need a massive collection of computers. Googlebot is the name of the program that performs the retrieval (also known as a crawler, robot, bot, or spider). To choose which websites to crawl, how frequently, as well as the number of pages to obtain from each domain, Googlebot uses an algorithmic technique. Google's crawlers are also set up to be careful not to crawl the site too rapidly in order to avoid overburdening it. Such a method relies on the responses from the website (HTTP 500 errors, for example, signify a "slow down") and Search Console settings.

Googlebot does not, however, crawl every page it finds. Certain pages might be blocked from crawling by the site owner, while others would need logging in to access. Similar to how your browser renders sites you visit, Google renders the page during the crawl and executes any JavaScript it discovers. Although websites frequently utilize JavaScript to add material to the page and because Google may not be able to see that content without displaying it, transformation is crucial.

If Google's crawlers can access the site, then crawling will occur. Googlebot frequently encounters the following issues when accessing websites:

  • Network difficulties and issues with the server running the site
  • Robots.txt restrictions barring Googlebot from accessing the page
Google crawling
Google crawling

Step 2: Indexing

Google attempts to identify a page's topic once it has been crawled. Such technique, referred to as indexing, comprises processing and going over the text in addition to significant tags and features, such as < title > components and < alt > attributes, as well as images, videos, and other types of information.

Google assesses whether a page is canonical or a duplicate of another internet page throughout the indexing process. The page that could appear in search results is the authorized one. For the purpose of choosing the canonical, we first group (sometimes referred to as a cluster) the websites that we discovered to have comparable content before choosing the one that best exemplifies the group. In some cases, such as when a user is searching from a mobile device or is trying to find a particular page from that cluster, the other pages in the group may be served as alternative versions.

In the subsequent stage, when we serve the page in search results, Google additionally gathers signals about the canonical page and its contents. The language of the page, the nation from whence the content is sourced, the page's usability, and other factors are examples of signals.

The obtained information on the canonical page and its cluster may be present in the Google index, a massive database kept on thousands of computers. Not every page that Google processes will be indexed, therefore indexing is not an assurance.

The metadata and content of the page have an impact on indexing as well. Typical indexing problems include the following:

  • There is poor content quality on the page.
  • Meta-rules for robots prohibit indexing
  • The website's layout can make indexing challenging.

Step 3: Provide search results

Our computers search the index for relevant pages when a user submits a query, and they then display what we consider to be the best and most accurate results. Many variables, including the user's location, language, and device, are used to determine relevance (desktop or phone). For instance, a user in Paris and a user in Hong Kong would see different results when looking for "bicycle repair shops."

The search features that show up on the search results page vary depending on the user's query. Searching for "modern bicycle" is more likely to return image results but not local results than searching for "bicycle repair businesses," for instance, which is more likely to return local results but no image results. In our Visual Element gallery, you may discover the most popular UI components of the Google web search.

Despite Search Console's pretenses to the contrary, indexed pages do not show up in search results. Perhaps as a result of:

  • The page's content is unrelated to the users' search terms.
  • The content's quality is poor.
  • Meta rules for robots prevent serving

Important Google Ranking Elements

Let's examine the elements of Google rank, which are as follows:


The term "backlink" refers to a link between two pages on distinct websites. These are among the key ranking factors used by Google. In our analysis of more than a billion pages, we likely observed a substantial correlation between linking domains and organic traffic as a result. But it's not just about quality. Quantity also matters. It's common for pages with a few increased connections to rank higher than pages with numerous low-quality links.


The value of a particular result to the searcher is its relevance. Google offers a variety of techniques to figure this out. It initially looks for web pages with the same terms as the search query. Furthermore, it examines interaction data to see whether other people might find the outcome beneficial.


A ranking element that depends on the query is freshness. It is more effective for queries that demand recent results. This explains why "new Netflix series" appears at the top of the search results page, but "how to solve a Rubik's cube" does not.

Page Speed

Page speed affects both desktop and mobile rankings. Yet, rather than being a good ranking element, it is more so. This is due to the fact that it has a detrimental impact on the slowest pages rather than a favorable one on pages that load incredibly quickly.


Since Google switched to mobile-first indexing in 2019, mobile usability has become a ranking consideration for both desktop and mobile websites.

Mobile optimization
Mobile optimization

Methods of personalization used by search engines

Each user's search results are customized by Google. Your location, language, and search history are used in this process. Let's examine these points in more detail.


For searches with a major concentration, Google uses your location to customize the results. Because of this, every result for "Italian restaurant" is related to or comes from a local eatery. Google is conscious of the likelihood that you won't go halfway around the world for lunch.


Google is aware that it is useless to display English results to Spanish-speaking consumers. It gives localized versions of material (if available) a higher ranking to users who speak other languages for this reason.

Previous Searches

For a more individualized search experience, Google records the actions you take and the locations you visit. Although you have the option to decline, most individuals definitely do not.

What objectives do search engines have?

Each search engine strives to deliver users the best, most relevant results. It's one of the ways they increase their market share.

Exactly how are search engines financed?

There are two categories of search results available on search engines:

  • Natural outcomes from the search index. No one can pay to be here.
  • Advertisements' compensated outcomes. For being here, you can pay.

The marketer compensates the search engine every time someone clicks on a paid search result. Market share is important because of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. A higher user base results in more ad clicks and money.

7 Ways To Increasing Your Google Search Ranking

Enhance The User Experience On Your Website

In accordance with a SEMrush study on ranking criteria, website visits, time spent on the site, pages per session, and bounce rate are the top four ranking factors. The content and user experience of your website are strongly tied to all four categories, as Google recently highlighted with its Page Experience change. It's really rather simple: If your website is user-friendly, entertaining, and provides useful content, you'll attract more people who will stay on your site longer and view more pages, which will boost your search ranking.

User Experience statistics
User Experience statistics

Provide Excellent Content That Is SEO-Friendly

One of the most effective techniques to boost traffic and raise your search ranking is to learn how to generate quality website content. Actually, Google stated that having excellent, pertinent content on a page is more crucial for ranking than page experience in a blog post on page experience. Aside from being error-free, keyword-rich, mobile-optimized, and crafted to specifically meet the needs of your target audience, your content should also contain useful links to other relevant internal and external resources.

Fix Broken Links

Excellent links are one of the easiest methods of increasing traffic and showing that your website is credible, but links that give users a 404 error are harmful to both for consumer experience and your search rating. To find any broken links, use a program like BrokenLinkCheck or Dead Link Checker.

Improve Your Image Quality

Increasing the performance of your website and making it simpler for Google to recognize the images on your web pages both depend on optimizing your images. Ensure that every image on your website is flattened, has a meaningful filename, and has alt text.

Focus On Local Search Optimization

People are utilizing their cell phones increasingly frequently to conduct "near me" searches for businesses. Make sure to claim your Google My Business profile, post pertinent material in Google Posts, list your company in local directories, and enhance your online reputation with positive online reviews in order to optimize local search engine optimization.

Put H1 and H2 header tags to use

In addition to making your material easier to read and understand for both humans and search engines, the use of header tags in the body of your content is strongly correlated with your Google search ranking. An excellent technique to display the organization of your material and highlight your main points is by using header tags.

Voice Search Optimization

Despite the fact that voice search is no longer expanding, more than 60% of respondents to a Proficient study indicated it was still their preferred way to use their smartphone to ask inquiries. Ensure that your website is voice-search optimized by including potential voice-search phrases in the website's content. Instead of using a single keyword, make sure to utilize whole sentences that are naturally spoken in a confident voice.

To Sum Up

This article provides insight into how search engines like Google operate. Web crawlers are responsible for discovering and indexing web pages, with a significant portion of search results being automatically added without manual submission. Google's search algorithm evaluates billions of searches daily to provide the most relevant results. The search process involves crawling web pages, indexing their content, and delivering search results. Google's ranking elements include backlinks, relevance, freshness, page speed, and mobile-friendliness. Search engines personalize results based on location, language, and previous searches. Search engines aim to deliver the best and most relevant results to users and are primarily financed through advertising. To improve your Google search ranking, focus on enhancing user experience, providing SEO-friendly content, fixing broken links, optimizing image quality, local search optimization, and using header tags. Additionally, consider voice search optimization due to its continued relevance.

Ways to increase your Google Search ranking
Ways to increase your Google Search ranking
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