How Search Engines Work: Understand Indexing and Crawling

August 22, 2021
August 22, 2021 Mehr Jan

When we talk about getting a good ranking on Google, various factors will be coming into play. Search engines are definitely one of them. You can even call them as our answer machines. They are majorly important in the process. They are there to ease in user intent. This means your readers will be looking into some specific kind of information and it is with the search results from this will they be readily able to find it. So it is major and you need to affirm that your content is coming at par to top quality work so as to become visible in search results. In this article we will be looking into how search engines really work. This will allow you to get a better understanding on how you will be getting your Google ranking. In particular we will be talking about search indexing and crawling, and how it plays a major role in the whole functioning of search engines.

So let’s start:

How Do Search Engines Work

how search engines work

When talking about search engines, understand that they fall into three major sectors. These are:

Crawling- It is basically relating to how it will be scouring through the internet to find the right kind of content. This process is a little detailed and complicated. And it involves going through the code nd content for every URL which they find.

Indexing– This basically relates to how you move into the next step. When the content has been found during the crawling stage, now comes the time to properly store and index it. This means that that particular page will now be in the display and come forth as a result to when relevant queries are being put out. This step allows for you to get your content visible now.

Ranking- Thirdly, you will notice how the ranking happens now. It is when the pages have been crawled and indexed, it is at this time that the search engine will now provide the content and site pages which are answering the best to a kind of query from a searcher. The pages are organized so that the searcher are getting the most relevant results on top as the least will be coming later on.

So this sums up the dynamics of how a search engine works. Now I want to get into the details of it all:

Search Engine Crawling and Indexing

We will talking about how indexing and crawling come together and are essential when trying to make Google ranking effective. So crawling is basically a process in which the search engine basically sends out a team of robots. And these are what we call crawlers. Their aim to make sure they find new and updated content.

Now when we are talking about the content, it can come in various forms. This can be either in the form of a webpage, an image, a video or even in the form of a PDF. However the interesting think to know is how any kind of content is readily available in the form of links.

And this is why creating hyperlinks, be it internal links or external, are extremely important when trying to get a good Google ranking. In the same context, let me get onto what are Googlebots.

What are Googlebots?

the little crawlers called Googlebots

This is the name given to what Google’s web crawler. But this also relates to two major kinds of crawlers- be it Googlebot Desktop or a Googlebot Smartphone. It usually comes down to what kind you will be requiring. In some cases, it is best that your website is getting crawled by both kinds.

The main point is that it will be providing you with the results readily. Googlebot is actually very effective when it is trying to access your site and it does so every few seconds on the average. But sometimes due to the delay, the results will take a little more time when appearing.

It is a major tool in Google and is responsible for running on thousands of machines as it aims to improve the performance and scale as the website continues to grow.

Adding Content

So how this works is that when search engines will be making use of Googlebots to crawl and fetch web pages. It will then index this content in a database which we call Caffeine. This is basically how it builds a huge database of content. You will be able to find many discoverable links in this manner.

Now I want to touch upon what search indexing is and how it relates to the whole Google ranking process.

The Importance of Search Engine Indexing

This is the process by which you will be getting and storing all the necessary information. It is a huge database which has quality content. And it is definitely quality content which allows for you to be able to get quality data.

Getting the Search Engine Ranking

This is basically the whole game. You want your site to be one of the top content that comes up when a relevant search is put out there by a user. It is not as difficult to understand this. But it is an important element to the whole research mechanism.

The crawlers are the main key player who perform this process. Now their job is basically to search for the whole or part of your site as you instruct the search engines. Some sites may prefer to keep the search limited to just a few pages on the site but it completely depends on you and how you want the crawlers to index searches.

It all comes down to making your content available for the user’s search. As you already have a fair idea by now, make sure your site is getting proper indexing and crawling. This is important so that your site is showing up in SERPS.

It works well for you if you can get a good check on what are the pages which are indexing for you. This will allow for you to determine whether Google is crawling and finding all the pages that you wish it will.

So How to Determine What Pages are Indexed?

getting quality pages indexed

For the same, you just need to follow some simple steps to check your list of indexed pages by Google. You get this by making use of You will type this into Google’s search bar. And when you do, a range of results will turn up on Google.

The kind of results Google will show is basically giving you an idea on which pages are getting indexed on the site. And how they will be showing up in the search results.

You can get even a better and detailed report when you make use of the Google Search Console. This allows for you to actually send sitemaps to Google and it will help you to determine which of the submitted pages are getting a good ranking on your Google index and which aren’t.

Why Am I Not Showing in Search Results?

So now you have got quite a concrete and strong insight on how Google ranking takes place in connection with indexing and crawling. However despite all that, sometimes you will notice that your pages are still not showing up in search results. Here are a few possible reasons for that:

  • Your site may be brand new. When this is the case, the crawlers have possibly not crawled it yet.
  • There is not proper linking, specifically external linking to various authentic websites.
  • The navigation of your site has many technical aspects to it, making it hard for robots to crawl it properly
  • The basic code in your crawler directives is proving to be a hinge as it is not allowing for the smooth crawling process as it is blocking search engines from doing their job
  • In some cases, you will notice that your site is penalizing. When this happens, it is due to spam tactics. And it impacts how your site is getting its indexing and crawling done


a complete mechanism to get Google ranking

In this way, indexing and crawling by your search engine plays a major role in how your site and pages of your site get a good ranking. A search engine is the holy grain to getting your site and services/products noticed. It consists of mainly three parts and they work together in union to provide the best results for search engine queries.

It has a huge database through which it gets search results. You want to be in that database and in order to to do so, your content creation and other technical aspects need to be at par to what essential SEO tactics involve. I have given you a complete overview on how you can get a good Google ranking when all these key players come together.

There is so much to learn and discover when it comes to quality SEO ranking. Get on the bandwagon and when you are onboard and following all these essential regimes, you will get a great Google ranking.

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