What is a Search engine?

A search engine is a basic software designed to search the World Wide Web. We use the search engine many times in a day, but always wonder how it actually works. Besides, we search for weather conditions, driving directions, food recipes, and whatnot on the internet. We now literally search whatever comes to our mind. Today, without the search engines we are helpless.

How search engine works
DuckDuckGo search engine interface.

Search engines and why we need them?

The Internet is a giant web of information spread across thousands of servers around the world. So, it is almost impossible to dig out the information that we are looking for. It is also necessary to sort out the information and present it to you as quickly as possible. Search engines do exactly this job.

Furthermore, it humanly impossible to handle the vast amount of information manually. So, the search engines employ robots (or bots) that churn out and filter the data and present it to the user. In addition, this data also needs to be evaluated as it may contain misleading information. All these jobs are now simply done by the search engines in a fraction of seconds. So, we need the search engines to get the correct information and at the shortest possible time.

How does a search engine work?

Search engines work with the help of robots or simply the bots. However, these bots are called the web crawlers. The web crawler is simply the piece of code that crawls the Internet. As these bots crawl the giant web of information; hence the name web crawlers. The web crawlers continuously crawl the internet for new information 24×7 & 365 days a year.

The search engines also have a giant index of information just like a book. This index helps to retrieve the information whenever the user needs it. The web crawler while crawling the web adds new information to this index every now and then. The web crawlers keep on doing it. They also remove any unnecessary information from the index.

What is search engine
Google search engine interface.

Then it comes the important part. The search engine displays the results in a specific order when the user enters a query. Search engine matches the keyword entered with the index available and displays the results. In addition, the sequence of results depends on many factors including the trust factor of the domain.

AI and search engines

We many times here about the Artificial Intelligence and use of it in search engines. AI has a huge benefit to the search engines. Before the invention of AI, the search engines usually worked simply by matching the query with Index. This type of working leads to spamming of the keyword. Spammers literally stuffed the websites with keywords and search engine showed them as there was no way to find out the relevant information.

The spamming leads to bad user experience as more and more irrelevant websites show up on the first page of the search engine. Search engines came up with the new update in the software, devaluating or banning the websites which are spamming and having thin/irrelevant content.

In recent years, they incorporated the AI into the software & thereby getting more accurate and spam-free results. The AI incorporation leads to a massive shift in how a search engine works. Now the search engine can literally understand the context and read the contents as human do.  They also learn from the user behavior and deliver exact answers to the users’ queries.

Search engines and the future

Now, search engines are an integral part of our life. We interact with them every now and then thru’ many means. The next biggest shift is going to be the voice search. The incorporation of AI and speech recognition leads to more voice-based search queries and answers. Now, you can literally interact with the search engine with your voice. The search engine can listen, understand, and give relevant answers to your questions and even take actions.

In conclusion, in the recent future, you will interact with a search engine like your friend. You will interact and take actions such as calling a friend or order online with your voice. The search engines now have immense capabilities never seen before. Thus, they will keep interacting with you influencing your life in many ways.

Have a look at how Google search engine works:

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