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If you lived before the 1990s, you most definitely needed to search books and libraries to find the answers to your questions. But with the advent of the internet and search engines, a huge evolution has occurred in the process of searching. In this article we cover:

Search Engine Definition

How do Search Engines work?

Their functions

Best Search Engines

Search Engine Definition

As mentioned above, the world wide web or the internet is a huge source of information. To search in this unlimited world of data, a tool is needed for finding and organizing the required information which is increasing every day. This tool is called a search engine.

Longman defines search engine as: a computer program that helps you find information on the Internet.

How do Search Engines Work?

The first step for showing the result and the answer is to see if the information exists. This is an important principle of SEO. Because if your audience cannot find your content on the internet, you don’t have any chance to be shown on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). Search Engines use their robots to download web pages and to follow links on these pages. This is how they discover new pages that have been made available.

Search Engines’ Functions

Crawlers: Search engines use their crawlers to collect all the information about the pages on the web and import them to the index. These crawlers are looking for links to follow and, in this way, they can reach new pages and index them. This whole process is called crawling.

Crawling is a search and extraction process in which search engines work with a team of robots (known as crawlers or spiders) to find content. This content can be a web page, image, video, PDF, etc. Crawlers extract the Content regardless of its format and store them in the index, so when the users search something, they will be able to provide the first and closest answer to the user’s question.

Indexing: it is the process of storing the information that come from crawling in search engines index. It helps search engines to present better results. Storing content that is found by crawlers happens based on the relationship between the user’s question and the site, which means those that have less relevance to the topic are listed and sorted at the bottom of the category.

Ranking: in this function search engine must decide what the best answer is to the users’ question. When the user performs a search operation, the search engine uses a variety of algorithms to classify the information based on the relevance of the question to the content and try to give the user the closest and most relevant answer.

Best Search Engines


It is the most visited website in the world. Google was a research project launched on April 4, 1998, by two Ph.D. students at Stanford University in California (Larry Page and Sergey Brin), In September 1998, Google’s first office was launched and the company was officially registered.


This search engine was created by two Stanford University electrical engineering graduates (Jerry Young and David Philo) in January 1994, and was named: “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” Over time, this browser improved and became one of the most popular search engines in the world. In early 2001, they introduced Yahoo. The word Yahoo was first used in the novel Gulliver’s Travels written by Jonathan Swift and “Yahoo” has come to mean “a crude, brutish or obscenely coarse person” The site’s founders, Jerry Young and David Philo, named their site yahoo because they saw such that behaviours in their personalities.


Microsoft launched Bing as an answer to Google in 2009.


Three PayPal employees (Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Javid Karim) created YouTube in 2005. YouTube has more than 1.5 billion monthly logins.


Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1995 to sell products online. In 1999, Jeff, the company’s founder (CEO), won the annual Times Award for popularity and access to online shopping. Last year, half of all online purchases were from this site.


Mark Zuckerberg and his friends Eduardo Saurin, Andrew McCallum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes at Harvard University founded Facebook on February 4, 2004. At first, Facebook was a student website, so only the students could access it. In 2006, its membership became available to all people over the age of 13 all around the world. It certainly won’t be your first choice, but there were nearly two billion searches last year. Facebook is currently the largest social network in the world with more than 2 billion active users.