Search engines: Algorithms, crawling and ranking

Search engines: Algorithms, crawling and ranking

Thanks to the internet, it is now easy to get an answer to any question. All you need is a search engine. Algorithms ensure that users receive not just any answer, but the most relevant answer to their question. The search engine algorithm interprets the user's search query and is designed to display search results that best fulfill the search intention.

The search engine algorithm is at the heart of every search engine. It determines which results are displayed by evaluating millions of websites according to relevance and quality. The search engine algorithms behind it are complex, but their operating principles are largely understood.

Search engine algorithm - role of crawling and indexing

Crawling and indexing play an important role with regard to search engine algorithms. Web crawlers, also known as search bots, spiders or robots, are constantly scouring the web for new pages. When the crawler finds a new page, it visits it and gets an idea of the content on the page. Not only text content, but also visual elements are included. This process is used to categorize the website.

After the analysis, the collected information is indexed, i.e. stored in the search engine index. When a search query is made, the relevant result is retrieved from the index at lightning speed and made available to the user. We answer the question "How does a search engine work?" in the linked article.

Ranking factors are determined by complex search engine algorithms

Various ranking factors determine which results are displayed in a search. In addition to content, technical factors and user behavior (e.g. dwell time) are also taken into account. The various search engine algorithms should ensure that a website offers the user added value and that the search intention is fulfilled as well as possible. The following factors are central to this:

  1. Content: The quality of the content is decisive for the ranking of a website. Are facts presented in detail? Is the content unique, informative and at the same time reader-friendly? When evaluating the content on a website, Google uses the EEAT concept, which stands for Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. If websites can demonstrate a certain level of expertise, position themselves as an authoritative, trustworthy source or back up their content with experience, this has a positive effect on the ranking. Strategically positioned keywords and an intuitive structure can also improve the ranking.

2. User experience: The user experience also plays a decisive role in the evaluation of a website. An intuitive, easy-to-navigate site keeps users on the site for longer, which search engines see as a sign of quality. Other important factors include page speed - how quickly does the page load? How fast is the interaction with the page? Does the page jerk when scrolling? Mobile responsiveness also plays an important role: this indicates how well the website adapts to different screen formats.

3. Technical SEO: Technical search engine optimization mainly relates to the crawlability of a website. However, the user experience also plays an important role here. It is primarily about avoiding or correcting errors in the technical structure. This includes, for example, a sensibly structured robots.txt, a well-maintained XML sitemap, an optimized URL structure, alt texts for images, structured data, canonical tags and much more.

4. Behavioral factors: User behavior is also decisive for the ranking of a website. This includes, for example, the click-through rate (CTR), which indicates how often a user clicks on a search result. A higher rate signals increased relevance to the search engine algorithm, which can have a positive effect on the ranking. However, it is also important how long a user stays on a page and whether other pages on the website are visited during the visit. User-friendliness is therefore of central importance for search engine algorithms.

Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving

Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. With the increased use of AI-generated texts, the demands on the content of a page in particular are rising. Texts must be better and better researched and become more and more detailed in order to meet the increasing requirements of search engine algorithms. They must offer visitors real added value and ensure that they stay on the page.

The power of algorithms is constantly growing: The latest trends in the field of search engine algorithms include the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies enable search engines to respond even more precisely to the needs and intentions of users. The many adjustments are made to improve the quality and relevance of search results and thus enhance the user experience. Although modern search engines such as Google are very good at displaying search results that match the search intention, data protection often suffers as a result. This is why more and more users are opting for anonymous search engines or search engines without tracking. The Swisscows search engine does not store any data and therefore offers a high degree of privacy and anonymity. Data is not sold to third parties, which means that no personalized advertising is displayed. Search results are based on a proprietary index that is based on years of experience. Modern search engine algorithms are used here to deliver high-quality results. Searching with Swisscows is not only simple, but also safe - sexual content is not indexed and therefore does not appear in the search results.