The main purpose of your website is to give your consumer information about your product or service. But without the use of crawling and indexing, your website information would be irrelevant to search engines. These concepts work by collecting all the information from your site, crawling, and then storing the pages and information for reference when someone searches for information pertaining to your product, indexing.
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Search engines like Google use web crawlers or spiders, also known as Googlebot, to search your webpage. Crawlers look at all the pages and links within your site and follow the links until it has collected all the data needed to store the information to Google, or other search engines.
Through the links the crawlers are able to crawl several sites. Think of it as a snowball effect, a site may contain 10 links that go to different web pages, those web pages then contain 30 links, and the spiders continually crawl every page as it comes across different links.
Once the search engines crawl throughout the link structure within your site, it stores the data. This data is then called on when relevant searches are made within the search engine. Whenever you add new information or make changes to existing content, spiders will crawl your site again to take any new, important information.
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Search engines like Google store massive amounts of information, which can all be accessed within a search in seconds. But how do you store over 100 million gigabits of information and have the ability to access it so fast?
Think of Google as a major filing cabinet. The information that search engines receive from the crawlers is stored based on several factors; person, place, thing, etc. When you search, algorithms look up the terms your searching within the filling cabinets to find the best answer to your search query.
Not only do these algorithms find the most relevant information for your search terms, it is much more advanced. Google knows much more about your site than the content, such as when it was published, if it’s only text or contains images, and many more elements. After combining and collecting all the data, Google factors in this information to better match and understand what your are searching for.