The three steps search engines follow to rank search results
Are you curious about how search engines generate the ranking list called SERPs?
If you know what SERPs are and what elements they incorporate, it’s easy to understand their workings.
Search engines generate search results in a three-step process.
Search engine bots (crawlers) sift through websites for relevant content.
These crawlers scan everything on a webpage to find relevant answers to the search query. It can be folders, sub-pages, sections, content, and everything that your website has.
They spot links to new Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) and store them in a massive database called the index or Caffeine. The bots then parse the links recursively to find new sources associated with each new URL.
When a user requests information, the crawlers retrieve it from the database.
The search engines analyze the content of URLs in the index.
When they encounter a search query, they search for highly relevant content in the index. In decreasing order of relevance to the query, the web pages are ranked on the SERP.
You may also request to restrict the crawlers to visit specific pages (irrelevant) of your site using robot.txt files. Hence, if all your web pages align with the set rules, your site is indexed.
Indexing is a constant process. Search engine bots will continue to crawl your website to find new content and send the URLs to the index.
They can remove pages from the index if the URL returns a “not found” error, violates the search engine’s Webmaster Guidelines, or requires a password before visitors can access the web page.
3. Fetching Results
When a user enters a search query, the search engine algorithm checks it against all URL records in the index. It looks for relevant answers to the user’s query and selects the top search results. It then generates an ordered list as the SERP and delivers it as a web page to the user.
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