Search Engine Optimization | How Do Search Algorithms Work?

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Nearly half of search engine users are going mobile. Rather than sitting down at a computer, they’re reaching for their phones and tablets. And, this upward trend has search engines reevaluating how they analyze and determine site rankings. Google is officially moving more sites to their “mobile-first indexing,” meaning that search engine optimization for websites is going to be based on the mobile version of the site.

It also has us wondering how this process is going to differ from the algorithm that analyzes websites built for desktops. Well, there’s more to Google’s algorithm than simply crawling (or examining) a site and ranking it in search results accordingly. Keep reading to learn more:


Crawling is one of the most well-known terms when it comes to search engine optimization. However, it is often misused. Crawling is when Google follows online links to find pages. This is when Google discovers your content. So, the more SEO-friendly it is, the easier it is for the crawlers to find.

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Indexing is when the crawlers evaluate what kind of content is on a webpage. This is when the page structure – backend and frontend – becomes extremely important. Crawlers index the copy, photos, metadata, and more. Google makes a copy of the page and formats it to make it readable for the ranking algorithm.


Retrieval and ranking can very well happen at the same time. But, retrieval is when a search engine user types in their question or phrase and Google finds anything and everything relevant to the search.

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Ranking is the end result of crawling, indexing, and retrieval combined. And, it’s what matters most to business owners. Ranking happens when Google, or your search engine of choice, analyzes everything that it found and compares it to other sites. The more relevant your content, the higher you’re going to rank.

Is Your Business in Need of Search Engine Optimization?

Businesses looking to be successful online need search engine optimization. If you’re ready to take your internet marketing strategy to the next level, contact us at Digital Resource to learn how our services can better your business!

Emily is a graduate from Florida Atlantic University where she studied English and communication. With a background in journalism, she is passionate about writing engaging and informative articles, and has a love for local businesses. Emily strives to assist businesses in building their brand identities and communities through quality, digital content.

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