Technically speaking – a search engine is a form of information retrieval system. It helps you retrieve information and data you want. It is mainly used to search the World Wide Web and internet. To put it simply, search engines pair your queries against a pre-existing index of data they have. This index houses keywords and phrases mentioned in each file along with its location. There are four important components of a search engine.
- Document Processor – It prepares, processes, and inputs the documents, pages, or sites that users search against.
- Query Processor – There are seven steps involved in processing a query.
- Search & Matching Function – After computing the similarity of each document in its index, the system presents an ordered list to the user. Searching the inverted file for documents to meet the query requirement is referred to simply as “matching.
- Ranking Ability – Having determined which subset of documents or pages matches the query requirements to some degree, a similarity score is computed between the query and each document/page based on the scoring algorithm used by the system. This is the ranking ability of a search engine.
Crawling and building an index to answer any query / search requested by users are the twin objectives of a search engine algorithm. Our websites/ links form the web which the search engine robots or spiders crawl around to create an index of interconnected documents.
You could have the best content in the world, the most amazing audience and even traffic coming from all kinds of places like social media and referrals. But if the search engines can’t properly access, crawl and index your site none of that matters for SEO.