How Search Engine Works

Search Engine is common name for Information Retrieval System (IRS).  Some of the popular search engine includes Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yandex, Duck Duck Go, etc. Google and Bing search engine hold more than 95% of search happened across the internet globally. In this article, we are going to explore how search engine works.

Search engine is nothing but advanced database system supported by various algorithm and artificial systems. Information is gathered from the website and stored in the website.

If user searches something, it analyzes the whole database, process and delivers optimal result.

how search engine works

Let’s Go Technical:

Every Search Engine has two major functions

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Retrieval & Ranking


Search engine process starts from Crawling. It is the process of gathering data about a website. When a website is hosted online, search engine spider gets complete information about the website such as page title, Meta description, content, images and links.

Crawling is never ending process and it happens to every web pages hosted online. Search engine friendly website design and optimization makes the process lot easier.

You can also use Google Fetch Us option in Google Search Console tool to make the process fast.

Website owners can use robots.txt to prevent search engine spiders from crawling your website

Google States that Google Search Spider crawls few hundred web pages each second.


Information fetched during the crawling in processed is stored in search engines large Database. This process is called as Indexing.

Ranking & Retrieval

The last step is what you in search engine result page. Search engines are answer machines. When we search something, it gathers information from its database and shows related answers from various websites.

 Search Engine friendly website design plays a significant role in crawling and indexing process. You need to implement search engine friendly on-page optimization elements to rank your website in search engine SERPs.

Check out my SEO Guide for Beginners to Learn SEO from Experts for Free to master your skills in Digital Marketing.