How Google Search Works: Crawling, Indexing, and Serving

How Google Search Works: Crawling, Indexing, and Serving

In the past years, SEO has experienced some of the biggest changes. Everybody wants to know the current rules of Google so that they can be on the first page of Google searches. Strategies have dramatically shifted from bulk of link building to on-page optimization to content marketing and the list is too long to catch the best SEO practice. So, it is necessary to have a full knowledge of how this search engine works and the logic behind these rankings otherwise you cannot appear in the first place on the result pages of Google.

Let us read how a search engine works

Google works in a simple way and follows three rules to calculate the results. These steps are crawling, indexing, and serving result. These three practices give us the most relevant result and make Google more competitive compared to other search engines.

What is crawling?

Google uses an automated program called spiders or web crawlers to discover pages. These crawlers crawl the World Wide Web to classify the best informative page. The computer is programmed in such a way, that it determines which website to crawl and which website to ignore.

Why Crawling is Important?

The name of the Google’s web crawler is GoogleBot, which retrieves pages on the web and transfers these pages to the Google Indexer. It works in an amazing way. The crawlers send a request to a web server for a website page, download the entire page and then, hand it over to the Indexer. Crawlers are the driver that derive the whole website to fetch the important links, dead links, detect new links, adds them, and update the Google Index which will be used during the next crawl. The crawlers go from one page to another page through internal linking or scan the whole website and build the index and evaluate your website and update the rank in Google’s search result.

What is Indexing?

Indexing is called the library of Google where billions of books or websites are stored. It is a stock that refers to the collection of pages during the crawl process which created the index. The indexer comprises all the information of the content and the locations of the webpages.

Why Indexing is Important?

When the user types a query into the search engine, the algorithm scans your search term in the index to find the most relevant pages. In simple terms, the crawling monitors the links and indexing is the practice of addition of webpages into the Google search engine. Indexing is important as Google stores the information or data of the website for later retrieval.

 The indexing includes the below details:

  • Complete information on the landscape of the content and relevancy of each page.
  • Page mapping (Linking of one page to another)
  • Availability of anchor text or clickable link
  • Other information about the links.

Indexing is the database which helps Google to predict the best page from the index to show on the top of the search engine result page when a user types a query.

What is Result Serving or Ranking?

The most typical situation comes in the third step to identify which pages to show in the Google search from the index. Google ranks the pages according to their scores given to each page based on relevance and importance. There are a number of factors and different ranking signals used by Google to make the page relevant and important. Therefore, it is important to make your webpage crawlable and indexable to keep yourself in the searches.

Result serving is the process of reflecting the best pages onto the first page of the search engine according to the search query. When a keyword is entered into a search box, Google checks their index or database that is the closest match and displays the best result in front of the user in a few seconds.
Google is a like large box where all the information kept, properly indexed, and ranked to know where it is placed. Therefore, it is a complex set of processes, which offers relevant data according to the search query.

Search Engine Includes the following Step to show the result to the Users:

  1. Understand the query of the User
  2. Recognise each page located in the index associated to the query
  3. Return the best result or web pages that represent the excellent relevancy and importance of the page. Relevancy and importance are both the term which defines separately. Relevance means to identify the relevancy of the content available on the web pages to the entered query. Importance comes in the form of links from other websites to that web page.

Steps involved:

Step 1: How many pages have been Indexed by Google

Are you ready to know how many pages have been indexed by Google? If yes, then there is a way to check this. Just enter “”. below is the example.

Here, you will get the full detail about an exact number of indexed pages as well as full catalogue of the website. Once you are happy that the search engines are crawling your website correctly.

It is time to monitor how your pages are being indexed.

Step 2: Monitor how the pages are being Indexed

There are three ways to know that are:

1. Run a Google Search: put “” and enter.

2. Click through Google Search Result: Whenever your website is visible on search engine result page. You can check the cache of the page by clicking on cached button.

3. Use a bookmarklet: You can bookmark your website in chrome. Create a bookmark and add this as location:

Through caching, you can easily come to know that your page is being cached regularly and you can check that cache covers all your content.

Click on text-only version and you can see how google read your website:

If these are ok, then your certain pages are being crawled and indexed.


Google Three Steps

  1. Google must find your content and crawl the pages and links
  2. After crawling process, Google index the pages store in a database
  3. And ultimately rank them within the greater index.

Gotchas in Caching, Crawling and Ranking

  1. 404 Errors hurt Google Working Process: 404 errors are those errors that shows the page is not available. If the link destination is having 404 error, then it does not count that link. It means that the crawler will not get the effective content or valid page, then it will have a negative influence on indexing and ranking over time.
  2. There are number of elements that cannot be seen by search Engine: Flash files, Audi and Video without context, Ajax and other forms of Javascript methods, iFrames are not readable by Googlebot.
  3. Avoid using “#” in URLs: Avoid using "#" in URLs (outside of "#!"). Googlebot rarely indexes URLs with "#" in them. Use "normal" URLs with simple navigation like website path/Category/Sub-Category instead, consider using the History API for navigation.
  4. Less use of embedded resources: Less use of embedded resources. The number of javascript files and server responses required to render your page. A high number of required URLs can result in timeouts & rendering without these resources being available (e.g., some JavaScript files might not be loaded). Use reasonable HTTP caching directives.
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