How Search Engine Indexing Works – In-Depth Guide

If you're looking to become an SEO expert, you'll need to understand search engine indexing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential

How Search Engine Indexing Works - In-Depth Guide

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential to boost your website’s visibility and attract more organic traffic. However, it’s a complex strategy that relies on understanding algorithms and leveraging various ranking factors. If you’re looking to become an SEO expert, you’ll need to understand search engine indexing.

How search engine indexing works – In-depth guide

How Search Engine Indexing Works - In-Depth Guide

In this post, we’ll explain how search engines index websites and how you can boost your rankings. So, we’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about this SEO concept. Let’s get started!

What is a search index?

Search indexes help users quickly find information on their website. It is designed to match search queries with documents or URLs that may appear in the results. 

Does it sound complicated? Here’s an easy way to explain this: You may have come across an index of books, a more traditional medium.

For example, many large (scientific) books have indexes that help you find relevant information in seconds. At the end of the books, there is usually an index containing an alphabetical list of keywords. So, each keyword links to a page where you can find useful information about the keyword.

For example, you might have a book about animals with several hundred pages. You want to find information about “cats.” You would look for the keyword “cat” in the index and read up on the mentioned pages (p. 17, 89, 203-205).

A seek index is pretty much like the only one in an ee-ebook. It lets the consumer locate beneficial statistics through a keyword quickly. But, of course, an internet seeks index has many technological benefits than the only in an ebook and gives wonderful equipment to assist internet site site visitors in getting what they need faster.

How are search indexes made?

Book indexes are traditionally creat by authors and publishers, and professionals who specialize in indexing, known as indexers. By analyzing the book’s content, they define keywords and make sure those keywords point to the most relevant pages in the book.

The software automates the indexing process. First, crawlers create search indexes for websites, also known as web crawlers and web spiders. Simply put, the crawler then visits the web site’s pages and collects content from the website. Then convert that data into an index.

Going again to our example, if you searched for “cat” on Google, you would see more than one page and URL associated with your “cat” keyword. An ebook index is static because the content material of an ebook doesn’t change; while a seek index is dynamic because websites are continuously being created and updated. 

In addition, the variety of seeking phrases in an ee-ebook index is fixed. A net seeks attempts to encompass all key phrases and helps queries with blended seek phrases. For instance, you may appear for “cat video,” The seek index will provide applicable results.

How are search results returned from an index?

And so, when a user enters a search query, the search engine searches for documents that contain the search query. This will return the result for the index, with a title, a summary, and possibly a link to the image and page URL.

Some CMSs provide native search capabilities to access the CMS database. However, results are displayed more slowly than the index-based site search options because the database is not organized as an index.

How a search engine indexing can improve your website

So, search engines will automatically capture the content of your website. The algorithm then prioritizes the search results. It also adds weights to some results to display before other pages on the results page. 

When choosing a website search provider, you can use several features to improve your search results.

How Search works for site owners

Google Search is a full automat search engine that uses web crawlers to scan the web and find pages to index periodically. Therefore, most pages displayed in the results are not submitted for manual inclusion but are detected; and added automatically when the web crawler crawls the web.

This document describes how Search works in the context of a website. With this basic knowledge, you can troubleshoot crawl issues and index pages and learn how to improve the look of your site in Google Search. 

 Looking for something that isn’t technical? See the Search Mechanism page, which explains how Search works from the searcher’s perspective.

A few notes before we get started

Before explaining how Search works, it’s important to note that Google doesn’t accept payments to crawl or rank your site more often. So if someone tells you something else, they’re wrong. 

Google does not guarantee that a page will be crawled, indexed; or delivered, even if the page complies with Google’s policies and guidelines for site owners.

So, Google Search works in three stages, and not all pages make it through each step:

  1. Crawling: Google uses an automatic crawler program to download text, images, and videos from sites found on the Internet. 
  2. Indexing: Google analyzes text, image, and video files on your site and stores that information in a large database, the Google Index. 
  3. Providing search results: When a user searches on Google, Google returns relevant information about the user’s search query.


The first stage is to find out which pages exist on the web. Unfortunately, there is no central registry for all websites, so Google has to constantly check for new and updated sites and add them to its list of available sites. This process calls “URL detection.” So, some pages are known because Google has already visited them.

When Google follows a link from a known page to a new page, other pages will detect it. Hub pages (such as category pages) link to new blog posts. However, if you submit your page list (sitemap) to Google for crawling, and will find other pages.

Once Google finds a page’s URL, it can visit (or “crawl”) the page to find out what’s in it. We use large numbers of computers to crawl billions of pages on the web. The program that does the retrieval call a Googlebot (also known as a bot, bot, or spider).

Googlebot uses an algorithmic process

So, Googlebot uses an algorithmic process to determine which websites to crawl, how often, and how many pages to fetch from each website. Google crawlers also program not to crawl your website too fast so that it doesn’t overload. This mechanism is based on the response from the website (for example, an HTTP 500 error means “slow”) and the search console settings.

And however, Googlebot doesn’t crawl all the pages it finds. As a result, site owners may not be able to crawl some pages and may not access other pages without logging into the site, and other pages may duplicate previously crawled pages. For example, many places are accessible through both www ( and non-www ( versions of the domain name, even if the content is the same.

During the crawling process, Google renders the page and uses the latest version of Chrome to run any JavaScript it finds, just as your browser renders the page you visit. Rendering is critical because websites often rely on JavaScript to bring content to the page, and without rendering, Google may not see that content.

Crawling depends on whether Google crawlers can access your site. Here are some common issues with Googlebot accessing websites:

  • Problems with the server that manages the site 
  •  Network problems 
  •  Robots.txt directive that prevents Googlebot from accessing the page

How search engine indexing works: Indexing

After crawling a page, Google tries to understand the page’s content. So this stage call indexing. This includes processing and analyzing text content, main content tags, and attributes such as & lt; title & gt; Elements and alternative attributes, images, videos, etc.

During the indexing process, Google determines whether a page is a copy of another page on the web or a canonical page. Canonical pages are pages that can appear in search results. To choose a canonical, we will first group pages on the web with similar content and then select the most representative pages from that group.

So, the other pages in the group are alternate versions that can serve in a different context, such as B. So, when a user searches from a mobile device or searches for a very specific page from this cluster.

Google also collects signals about canonical pages and their content, which and can use in our next stage of serving pages in search results. So, some signals include the language of the page, the country where the content is located, the availability of the page, etc.

Information collected about legitimate pages and their clusters can store in the Google Index, a large database hosted on thousands of computers. However, indexing is not guaranteed. The Google process indexes not all pages.

So, indexing also depends on the page’s content and its metadata. Common indexing issues are:

  • Poor quality of site content  
  • Robot meta-directive prohibits indexing 
  • Website design can make indexing difficult

Serving search results

Google does not accept payments to rank the page higher, and the ranking is done programmatically. 

Moreover, when a user enters a search query, the search engine looks up the index of matching pages and returns the highest quality and most relevant results to the user. Relevance determines by hundreds of factors, including information such as user location, language, device (desktop or phone), etc.

For example, searching for a “bicycle repair shop” will give different results for users in Paris and users in Hong Kong. The Search Console may notify you that the page index, but it does not appear in the search results. This can be for the following reasons:

  • The content on the content of the page is irrelevant to users
  • The quality of the content is low
  • Robots’ meta directives prevent serving

This guide describes how the Search works, but we are constantly working on improving the algorithm. You can follow these changes by following the Google Search Central blog.

Manage results and adjust the ranking

There are three main functions for managing and adjusting rankings in AddSearch: site sections, fixed results, and promotions.

Site areas: With the web web page vicinity function, you could pick out which regions of your net web page you need to enhance and which content material you need to present of reduced importance. For example, you might need your guide articles to be verified before blog articles if you are much more likely to find applicable records under “guide.”

You can also exclude sure pages from acting in seek results and touchdown pages or writer pages. This function influences the handiest the inner web page seeks and is now no longer your Google seek.

Pinned results: You can pin the specific content at the top of the results page. First, select a keyword. Then select the page you want to view first. It is possible to fix multiple pages and arrange them accordingly. This feature is displayed as a normal result, so users are unaware that they are looking at a fixed result.

Promotions: The promotion will appear first on the results page as with fixed results. You can also select multiple keywords and page promotions. In addition, you can use various design elements such as background color to appeal to your promotion to your visitors visually. Finally, the promotion can be temporary, such as a Christmas special.


You can personalize the results for each website visitor. For example, users can view search results based on their preferences and browsing history through personalization. 

All users visit your website for different purposes and search for the same keywords, but the expected results can be very different. 

For example, if a website visitor is known to be vegetarian; and you search for “pasta recipes,” the search results will immediately show details of the vegetarian source. At the same time, we recommend Bolognese for meat-eaters.

Custom results become more relevant and search results, improving your site’s user experience and satisfaction, increasing conversions. Personalization can affect by everything from specific page views to preferred search settings, account information, and purchase history.

Search UI and API

If you want your UI to adapt to a more sophisticated and personalized site search theme, you can use AddSearch to crawl your site and provide a search index, but you can code the theme. This tuned approach is perfect for tailoring your search results page to your visitors’ individual needs and desires. 

Another way is to provide the crawler with an indexing API. This way, you can always update the results with new incoming content. This solution makes sense if your website has live streams or constantly updated content (such as news sites and video platforms).


You can use analytics to see what your users are looking for and provide exactly what they want. In addition, you can get valuable insights into how users are using Search: how often they search, what they are looking for, and whether they have found it.

With these facts, you may create content material to present your customers precisely what they ask for. Analytics encompasses facts consisting of your maximum famous key phrases, no click on key phrases, or key phrases that aren’t returning any outcomes. AddSearch helps Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and Matomo so you can combine all of your analytics in a single place. 

 Like having an editor for an ebook that choices up key phrases for the index, all of those functions provide a personalized “human touch” to make your seek outcomes even better.

Search engine indexing: Conclusion

We found some similarities and differences between books and search engine search indexes. Indexes are commonly used to find information quickly, and easily using keywords. Search indexes are important for generating relevant search results, and other search engine features improve search results.