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The Inner workings of Search Engines


The Inner workings of Search Engines

We take search engines for granted. My homepage is literally Google. And without having to make a wild guess, I can say with confidence that its the same story for a whole bunch of you too. With the domination of Google Chrome as the preferred browser and the demise of the Internet Explorer, things even are more straightforward now. Google is your go-to guy for anything on the internet. I tend to judge people who use bing for some reason. What are you hiding from Google you skeptical human you?

All this talk about search engines and Google but have you stopped to think of the inner machinations of this frighteningly simple text bar that is your search box? I’m betting on a resounding no and a continued mumbling of why does it even matter. Sorry to break it to you pal, but if you are in the digital marketing business or any business actually, you gotta take them out dusty notebooks and start scribbling. Because things are going to be down dirty and technical from this point on!

The Triad

No, I’m not talking about the infamous organized crime syndicate based in China…unfortunately. But I’m here to tell you about something slightly less interesting but very much important to your branding. The Google machine is one made up of three well-oiled gears – the triads. The three gears are:

The Crawler

The Indexer

The Ranker


Google can’t and won’t work without any of these. They are so integral to the very existence of the search engine that even if there is a wee little bug in any one of these at any point in time, you are going to see horrible repercussions. Expect pandemonium in the streets and rusty pitchforks in the air because now no one can Google “best artisan cheese museums nearby” anymore.

Let’s delve deep into these gears one by one!

The Crawler

Crawlers or as spiders as I like to call them, are the ones that do all the digging and dirty work. Tons of this nifty little beasts sprawl over the internet and scrounge for content. Taking note of anything and everything, these spiders find out new data and content updates all over in the vast cyberspace in a second by the second manner. It doesn’t matter what is up there, an image- fine says the spider, a gif- yeah I’ll take that too, a video – oh I freaking love videos, a pdf – omnomnom. This adorable bites of code munch through everything and take note of all the links they belong to.

All this munching is not for just to please its appetite. The spiders build this huge web of interconnected links based on all that precious data collected through thorough crawling.

The Indexer

Yeah, this is that boring nerd gear in the machine. This guy just sits there and grabs all that stuff from all the spiders and puts them into neatly packed boxes. Fidgetting over and over until they are in perfect rows and columns so their OCD doesn’t act up again.

All that boxes of data make up the index for a website. It is kind of a skeleton of what goes where and an outline of the kind of content you can expect from a particular. Through round after round of even harder analysis, the indexer even prioritizes the cream from the sugar. This streamlined data is the fodder for the next gear. So although I hate to say this, the indexer is one of the most important gears for the search engine after all! Who would have thunk?

The Ranker

As digital marketers and SEO experts, this is that part that we care about. We all want our brands out there on the first page of the search results. Even the first page isn’t enough, we want them up there in the top three. Because those are the ones 90% of your audience are going to click.

How does the ranker work? It’s quite a linear algorithm after all. Using all that yummy fodder from the indexer, the ranker works to figure out the box that has the highest match to the content you are searching for. The most relevant boxes turn and bingo there you have it, your search engine results page!

Final Words

I believe that for the sake of simplicity I might have left out a lot of technical details. In the mood to learn more about search engines, or anything in fact related to your branding strategy? Check out our blog on all things right from Chatbot Skynet to Best Graphic ideas for your brand. You’ll find things quite interesting here and something to take away from the day here at Adhuntt. Do drop down your comments as I would love to reply to them. Until next time, Ciao!




1 Comment
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