How Do Search Engines Work? (The Quick Version)

Posted by Vira Vielmann
Vira Vielmann

Knowing the inner workings of a search engine can get fairly technical, and this post is anything but that. The following is a quick overview of what search engines do, how they work, and how they drive relevant, profitable traffic to your website, which ultimately helps in growing your business.

So, here it is.

Search Engines Are a Business

Search engines are in the business of providing the best user experience. They use specific algorithms to crawl through billions of websites daily and select only the most relevant and credible content to display in their search results. The better the results they find, the more users they attract to their websites, and the more successful the search engine becomes. Just like you!

Search Engines Have a Reputation to Uphold

Serving up useful information for users not only will help elevate the user experience, but it will also uphold the reputation of the search engine itself. Think about it this way: users don’t like having to search multiple times to find what they’re looking for. If they continuously get terrible results with a given search engine, chances are they’ll start using something else.

Like you and your business, “using something else” isn’t what search engines want. Remember they are businesses too, and just like any business, have their own competitors. They want a larger piece of the market share and will constantly strive to get the most user engagement on their platform.

Search Engines Build Trust & Credibility

But user engagement isn’t the only outcome of having killer search results. We often don’t think about how search engines help build trust between users and brands around the world. Just think about the perception users have towards a search result that shows up on the first page compared to the second page. What about the perception of showing up higher on the first page than lower? If it shows up on the first page, it must be good information, right?

Search Engines Help Grow Your Business

Search engines can do wonders for growing your business; you just need to know: 1): how they work and 2:) what they need from you to display your relevant content in their search results. Feed the search engines, and the visitors they send to your site that turn into leads, that turn into customers.

What do search engines need? Several things! But don’t be afraid; they are all very manageable. For your next step, check out our comprehensive how-to SEO guide to learn the building blocks to put in place to make search engines happy and drive business to your business.