Search Engines – How they work

Search Engines – How they work

A search engine is simply a website with a database. The database is filled with information about other websites. That information is generally provided by those other websites in order for their site to show up when someone makes a search using the search engine.

If you have a web page it will not show up in any of the search engines unless you go to those search engines and add your site to their database. When you add your site they will ask for your URL Address. That is the information that appears in the address box at the top of the browser. For instance, if you want to surf the internet to you would type something like this into the address box: When you press enter, your browser attempts to find that site on the internet.

When you submit your page to the search engines they request that same information for their database. They often want to know a little more information such as the email address of who is submitting the information, etc. This information is then stored in the database.

After submitting the information to the database someone working for the search engine company, or the software which is part of the search engine will surf to your page and try to find some key words that relate to the information contained within your page. Those key words are also stored in the database and related to your address.

Then, when someone makes a search using a keyword that matches any of your key words, your page is displayed in the list along with any other pages that also match what they entered. If you try this with you page, don’t be discouraged if you don’t find your page at the top of the list. It takes a lot of effort to make that happen.



  1. The key words mentioned above are often found in the META tags in the html. The search engine uses certain META tags for certain things. The keywords will be used for the search while the description is often displayed under the page title in the listing.

    To get higher listings, as well as submitting the information you need people to link to your site. The more people who link, the more important the search engine will think your site is and therefore the higher it will rank it. There are many other ways to try and get your site ranked higher, and these are often summarised as Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short.

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