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How the Search Engine Works

search engineSearch Engine like Google or Bing works based on two principals. First Crawling and Indexing and second answer the user’s query. Any web site might have hundreds to thousands of documents including web pages, images, pdf files and so on. Search Engine’s automated robots, which are named as crawler or spider will visit all the web servers and will try to understand the content of the individual web site.

Website’s content indexing: Any website might have different types of content on it. A search engine robot will visit all the content of the website automatically, it will decode the content of the website, will summarize the content of that website and then the search engine will store this record onto their server. This whole process is known as indexing. Every engine has many servers around the world. It is estimated that Google has around 18,00,000 servers at the moment but Google has never revelled their actual number of servers. The reason behind having this enormous number of servers is to keep the record of every website in the World Wide Web (www) and answer the users query as quickly possible. Search Engines stores billions of web pages and to do so they need to have many data centers. A common strategy for this is to establish the data centers in different countries, collect the data locally, indexing locally and then share the same index globally with their other data centre servers.

Every search engine has an algorithm to decipher the web site’s content, to index the content and to understand the popularity of the web site. Search engine will show a result to the users based on the popularity of the web site. If two website has same kind of information, when the user will search for something, the result will be shown from the site which is more popular. Google has its own algorithm to understand the popularity of the site which they do update regularly.

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How the Search Engine provides the result?

Once a website has been indexed, the answer machine of the search engine knows the content of individual site. It is always recommended that “Build a site for the user, not for the search engines”. Now a days search engines are so smart and they do understand the content of the site. Against a specific search query, engine will return the relevant website. This answer machine will consider the “importance” of the site which will measured by the popularity. Might be one web site will be shown to the user against a particular keyword. But if the user thinks that this is not the right content he is looking for, he will leave the website without going to the next page (named bounce rate), this will help the Search Engine to identify the quality or relevancy of the website against that particular key word.

What difference the Search Engine Optimization can make to the business?

Search Engines like Google is so smart now a day. Google has introduced the latest algorithm named Panda 3.7 which is smart enough to identify the pattern of the website content. It used to be a time when the search engines mostly depend on the “Meta Tag” and “key word density”, but not any more. Even though engines are quite smart for understanding the content of the site, but still these are not that smart as the human are.

Search Engine Optimization is not only preparing the site for the engines but also for the users. Optimization techniques will emphasize on the users and how the users like the website along with the common steps which will ensure that crawlers (search engine robots) understand the web site and all of its content properly.

Many people believe that the Search Engines are so smart, it can visit the millions of website and its content everyday, and it can index all the content of the site very easily. Any shape of the site will have no impact on the indexing of its content. As long as all the contents are in the web server, crawlers can decode those and these robots will be able to keep the record of the content.

In some extent, it’s true. Search Engine’s robots can visit your site without any help. Google will recommend you “optimize the site for the user, not for the search engine”. But when you follow the best practice of optimization for the user, your site will be optimized for the search engines as well. Every business should do the optimization; every one should follow the standards for developing and maintaining the site. Without the optimization, your site might be invisible to the search engines forever.

Optimization of a web site will improve the quality of the content which will attract more users as well as the search engine. This kind of campaign will provide a very good and easy navigation system inside the web site. Back linking will increase the possibility of the web site seen by the potential customers from different places. XML site map will make the job easier for the search engine robots.

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Limitations of Search Engine

All the Search Engines are working based on same kind of principles. Crawlers will visit the site, decode the content of the site and then summery of the sites content will be indexed and stored in the data centre of the search engine. But all the engines are still having some common limitations despite the fact that they are so intelligent and advanced. The limitations any search engines are as follows:

Problem with the indexing: Search Engine Robots just follow the links of any web site to visit all the contents or the pages. Because of poor link structure, the crawlers might not be able to index all the content of the site. If there is any error in the robot.txt file, it might block the crawlers from accessing the web site. Website might have many contents which can be only accessible after completing a form or login, search engines are not good at filling up the form and therefore many contents can be out of the indexed by any search engine. Search Engines are not good for identifying the non HTML contents like images, flash, video, audio etc.

Deciding about the importance and relevance: You might have high quality contents on your site, search engine will be able to understand the uniqueness of the contents but the robots will be unable to decide about the importance of the content as human. When a web site will be linked to different places, it will get many visitors, there will be less bounce rate, visitors will stay on the site for longer and the numbers of pages average visitors are visiting, taking all these facts into the account search engine will rank the content of the web site. This is a very big limitation as a search engine might rank a web site with lower importance while it might have the quality content.

Query key words: Thousands of users are visiting different search engines everyday, using different key words to search for different types of things. Its quite impossible for the search engine robots to understand the different meaning of a query as different people might think about the same sentence in different ways. Search engines are updating their searching algorithm very often to ensure that these can implement artificial intelligence in terms of understanding the search query as well as the content of the web site. But still the engines like Google do provide the search result which is not very relevant with the search query.

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