How Websites Work

If you have ever wondered how search engines work, this information should be a great overview of what and how a spider does it’s job.

Search engines and web crawlers (referred to as spiders) play a role in the internet world but a lot of people don’t have a clue what they do. Your business relies a lot on search engines and what they do. Information is immediate when you are looking to find information about something that you want to look up. They are also in charge of sending traffic to your web page when someone does a search with the key words that they are looking up. How does it REALLY work though?

Traffic, Traffic, Traffic

Search engines (mostly Google) are responsible for almost all of the traffic that comes to your website. This means that your website needs to look good to the bots in regards to its keywords, page content, anchor text and links to other websites and pages. While is it more complicated than this, having a basic understanding of search engines and how they work will give you an indication on how to see this from a different angle.

After you have finished a submission page to Google they send out their spiders or crawlers to index your site. These are automated programs that Google has created. The spiders will inspect your site and do an analysis, and obtain information from and about your site. This info can be taken from the keywords and different pages of your website. All of this info is then sent back to Google for the consideration to index it or not.

What are Spiders?
Spiders or crawlers are basically computers, they have a table of contents, content about your site, and links to the many references for websites found during its inspection of your webpage or pages. A spider can technically index millions of pages per day. The visits by the spiders is continuous depending on how this is set up by the search engines, like Google. They work around the clock continuously looking for fresh and new content.

When someone types in a particular word or set of words into the search area to perform a search about something, Google will do a search through its data base and send back the most relevant pages first. This is set up through a very complex and highly technical algorithmic procedure that is set up with the individual search engines. Google, Yahoo and Bing all have different algorithms.

Search Engine Algorithms
Search engine algorithms mostly look for the location and frequency of keywords and anchors on a web page. This will then determine what website or web pages will appear when a user performs a search. This is analyzed by the way in which the pages are linked together with other sites and pages on the web. If the keywords of the linked pages are the same or close to the keywords on the original page, the search engine can then understand the content of the site.


Search engines are constantly evolving. The most popular search engine for many years now is Google. It is so common that you may of even heard the catch phrase, “just Google it.” I doubt you will ever hear “Just Bing it” or “Just Yahoo it” for quite some time, if ever.

Updates are common with search engines and namely that of Panda and Penguin, which is Google specific. These roll outs basically took out hundreds of thousands of spammy websites that was deemed by Google to no longer be relevant.

In order to build a safe site, make sure that you do not send any spammy links to your site. This is so 2010! Play safe and you’ll stay indexed.

Anyway, this was a 20,000 foot overview of how spiders and web pages work. Hopefully this will have given you a greater understanding of how the complexities of search engines can be boiled down to something simple.

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