How Search Engines Work


How Search Engines Work

Video Transcript Hi and welcome to another Tuesday Tip Video Clip. Now you may have noticed right off the bat that I am not the same guy or guys that used to do these videos. However I assure you that I am a lot more like those guys you can see at first glance.

For a long time these videos were hosted by a certain SEO ninja and like that ninja I have a beard… glasses… and a bald spot. And for a brief time after him, these tips were brought to you by an SEO rockstar. Well, like the SEO rockstar, I can actually play a mean guitar… But with all these attributes, it doesn’t quite explain what I am doing here. Please, let me introduce myself. Hi, (snap!) I am Bryant Goodall, the new director of search and social at AutoRevo. (Snap!) and I am here to help you anyway I can. Now let’s try this again.

Hi and welcome to another Tuesday Tip Video Clip. Billions of people use search engines to navigate their way through even more billions of websites on the Internet and I guarantee you most don’t know how Google and other search engines work. Don’t worry, I am here to help. Search engines start by sending out “spiders” or little programs that crawl websites and pages and actually follow links from that site to other websites. They keep doing this over and over again. While doing this, they save or “index” these pages in vast databases.

When someone comes along and enters a “query” into the search engine, the search engine scours the pages saved in their database and attempts to return the most relevant webpage. This is actually how Google and the others can brag that “we’ve found 2 million pages in a quarter of a second”. But how do these incredible super-beings rank the results they return? Well in simplest terms, it’s based on two factors: relevancy and authority. To make it easier to remember I have shortened them to “raw-thority” err… “Elefancy”. We’ll keep working on that. Anyway, search engines establish the relevancy of a page with a number of factors but the biggest one is how relevant the content of the page is to the query. If Google or the others think your content is relevant to the user, they want to share it. Now how do they know they can trust your content? Well this is where authority comes into play. Google likes to see who is linking to your site and they use these links as a kind of voting system for authority.

If other sites they trust are linking to you or voting for you, then they can trust you. If you have a ton of crummy or shady links, they definitely won’t trust you. So in summary, Google and other search engines crawl billions of websites and index them in there database, returning a list that they rank based on relevancy and authority. See that wasn’t so hard. Of course this is a very simplified way of explaining search engines but at least it’s a start. Now pat yourself on the back, you learned something new. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below.