how search engines work


November 4, 2022

Marketing, SEO 4 min read

How to Use Search Engines to Make Your Business Stand Out in 2022

Ever wondered how search engines give you the most accurate results based on your search query? 

The answer lies in the way search engines are programmed. Search engines have sophisticated programs that are known as spiders, crawlers, or bots, who delve into the web to find websites and index them. This mechanism helps display accurate answers to search results within a few seconds. 

On the other hand, SEO forms an important organic growth platform for businesses. Especially the ones that recently adopted the digital medium or are looking to improve their digital marketing. 

This is why before getting to rank high in the SERPs, knowing how SEO works is equally helpful. 

So, this article aims to help you understand the critical processes of search engines. Plus, how to make it work for your business.  

How Do Search Engines Work?  

A search engine is a digital library of information that catalogues billions of web pages. It uses a complex computer program that uses a search algorithm and search index.  

You can get the best and most relevant results because of the algorithm that refers to indexed pages and used keywords. This happens in three main stages – discovering, organising, and ranking information. 

In SEO, they are called crawling, indexing, and ranking.  

search engine crawling, indexing, and ranking


This step starts with what is called a ‘search engine spider’, which is a bot that “crawls” all over the World Wide Web. Spiders look for new content and information that’s not in the search engine’s directory yet. This includes text, images, alt-tags, documents, and other information available on the web.  

After crawling this information, spiders store and forwards the data to the search engine for indexing.  


What happens after crawling is called indexing. It is the process of sorting, organising, and storing the collected information to show to the end user.  

Search engines, like Google, want the best and most relevant content for their users. They aim to give excellent user experience and provide highly relevant results for every search. To do this, they store information from webpages, like titles, page descriptions, meta descriptions, keywords, tags, outgoing links, and other on-page and off-page details. 

After this, the next process begins: ranking each result based on multiple factors.  


From the first two stages, search engines determine the ranking of information based on multiple factors. 

In fact, Google has over 200 known ranking factors that constantly change over the years. These ranking factors help search engines provide their users with a human-like answer to every search query.   

The most familiar ranking factors are keyword optimisation, content quality, backlinks from authoritative websites, your website’s page speed, and mobile friendliness. For a website to get a high ranking, its scores must help the algorithm determine that it is relevant and useful for a particular search term.  

How Does SEO Work for Your Business? 

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of using keywords and techniques to help your business or website rank higher in search results. 

There are many benefits to applying SEO techniques to your website. But the list below is the most important.  

1. It Helps Generate More Traffic 

When people search for something online, they’ll use search engines like Google and check its results. Once the results show, users will likely only look at the first few pages of the results. So, if your website isn't listed on those pages, you likely won't get any traffic. 

However, if your website is listed on page 1, especially in the top 5 results, you’re likely to get more clicks and traffic. 

2. Builds Credibility and Trust 

When your website appears on the first page of search results, especially in Google, it is not just because you are using the right keywords, getting relevant and highly authoritative backlinks, and sharing credible content. It also has to do with backend activities and security guidelines that search engines carry out before ranking websites. 

As a result, your website is a lot more credible and trustworthy. 

Considering the recent algorithm updates, focusing on security best practices is helpful for businesses to be at the top of search results. For example, if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it has a significantly low chance of ranking high in SERPs.

3. Better Branding and Visibility 

If you don't optimise your website for SEO, potential clients will less likely to know that you exist.  

Think of SEO as a digital version of your physical business. If the customer cannot see it, they will pass by and maybe end up at a competitor's doorstep. 

By ranking highly in search results, you get people to find your website easily and not venture elsewhere. 

4. Helps Increase Conversion Rates 

The last benefit of SEO is its ability to increase your conversion rates. 

If someone does a Google search for a product or service, and your website comes up in the first three results, you’ll get a good volume of website traffic. Now, you just need to convert them into paying customers. 

To do so, you can enhance your website’s usability. Focus on specific and targeted content.  Make it easy for any visitor to jump from one section to another. Keep them interested by making sure you offer helpful content. 

A website with good navigation, accessibility, and highly value-driven content, not only ranks higher but also helps you get much higher conversions.  


Search engines are a complex web of algorithms, artificial intelligence, and digital libraries. They all aim to get anyone the most trusted, relevant, and valuable resources on the web.  Understanding how search engines work helps you gear your business to compete in the digital landscape.  

SEO best practices help you rank high in SERPs to get more traffic on your website. This then helps your business bring in more potential buyers. 

To be successful in the digital space, you’ll need high-quality content. Our managed SEO services can help you achieve that goal.

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