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How Internet Search Engines Work

To achieve a better positioning of your website organically and therefore obtain an increase in the volume of visits, you must know and understand how the internal workings of modern search engines are.

The first thing you should know is that the search engine operation process can be divided into three main phases or stages:

  • Discovery
  • Relevance
  • and authority

Said in a more technical way; crawling, indexing and positioning.

All these phases or stages are very important and although they are very different from each other, they complement each other, however most marketing professionals tend to focus only on the last one, which is a mistake since all three are the same of important.

How search engines work

We are going to explain what each of these aforementioned phases consists of in order to understand how search engines work, how they differ and what their importance is.


Tracking is our first stage and we can also define it as discovery .

At this stage, a bot designed for this purpose is in charge of exploring the website to try to understand what type of site it is and to know the type of content that makes it up, once the bot has collected this information, it goes to the second stage .


At this stage the bot based on certain criteria will determine the relevance of the content of the web page for the user, this is where the search engine decides if the content of the page is relevant or not, if it meets the requirements of the users or no and if it is of quality.


Positioning is the ultimate goal most marketers focus on. In this stage, the search engine seeks to discover the authority and quality of the content, and based on this result assigns it a position in the ranking of the results page.

In other words, we can describe the 3 stages as search, classify and locate , if we transfer this process to the work of a library for example, we could describe it this way:

  • First, doing the same work as the bot, we locate which are the books that we have or that came to us in the last order.
  • Then we review them to see what they are and to be able to classify them according to their type and content, for that we have to see what each one is about.
  • At the end, based on its content and authority, we assign it a place in the library.

For this, certain criteria must be used (recognized author, topic of interest, importance, etc.) that will help us determine the authority of the book and decide where in the library we should place them, science, cooking, etc. And at the same time in which part of that section if it arrives in the best place of the exhibition or at the end.

In a very similar way, it happens with the positioning of a website , the search engines locate, classify and in the end they position and give a place to the page within the search results.

Positioning as a goal

The most common mistake that is made is to focus only on the positioning as a goal and leave aside something very important, the content .

It is essential to create a content strategy for the positioning of your website , where the quality and relevance of your content manage to satisfy the search needs of Internet users.

Thanks to the content, the search engines of the main search engines, following the steps that we already mentioned, will be able to classify and assign a place to your web page in the search results.

Importance of content for web positioning

Many times we try so hard to get a better ranking or positioning for our website that we forget and neglect the importance of having quality content.

The authority that our site must have in order to be taken into account by the different search engines.

If your website does not have quality content, you will not have traffic on it , since nobody is interested in a site without useful content.

No matter what you write, they will not read it, they will not share it with anyone and no one will link to it, so your content will not be validated.

To determine if the content of a page is relevant and has sufficient authority, Google analyzes how well said content answers the question or satisfies the user’s search need and tries to find out the degree of relevance of the page consulted.

Authority and credibility of your website

The authority of a website is nothing more than its importance with respect to the universe of remaining pages , and the development of the authority and credibility of a website depends directly on the number and quality of external links it receives from pages with certain authority.

To achieve this, it is necessary to generate quality content, without the need for it to have anything to do with the amount of content generated.

The same happens with the credibility of websites, if a site or web page has sufficient authority, it will also have the necessary credibility to be taken into account by search engines such as Google and obtain a good position on the results page.

Importance of links in generating authority

The importance of links in the generation of authority of a page or a website is determined by the importance that the search engine assigns to the page that links, rather than the number of links itself.

That is, if your page links to other pages on similar topics with a certain authority, Google will take into account the quality of those pages and the number of them that link to you, assigning part of that authority to your site.


Modern search engines base their operation on three stages: crawling, indexing and positioning.

An effective and efficient marketing strategy must be able to consciously go through all these stages and be able to identify in which situation it is located within each of them.

All this, without forgetting that the most important thing that is needed to be taken into account and achieve a good position in the search results is quality content and sufficient authority and credibility of the website.

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