Ever wondered how Google or Bing finds your website among the billions of pages on the internet? It’s like a game of hide and seek, but with robots! Let’s take a fun and simple look at how search engines crawl, index, and rank websites. Understanding this can help you make your website more visible online.
The World of Search Engines
Imagine the internet as a massive library and search engines as the librarians. Google, the biggest librarian, takes care of about 78% of all searches. Bing handles about 11%, and there’s a newcomer, DuckDuckGo, that values privacy and is becoming quite popular.
Back in 2015, Yahoo, another search engine, decided to join hands with Google for a while but switched back to using Bing by 2019.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Search engines use special programs called bots or crawlers. Think of them as little digital explorers that scan through the internet. They’re looking for new and updated websites to add to their massive index, sort of like adding books to a library.
Here’s a surprising fact: only about 4% of the entire internet is indexed by Google. And out of this, 30% are spammy websites. So, there’s a lot out there that’s not in Google’s library!
Google has a bunch of different bots, each with a special job:
- General Crawlers: These bots look for all sorts of content on websites.
- Ad Bots: They check if ads on websites are good and relevant.
- Image & Video Bots: These specialize in finding pictures and videos.
- News Bots: They’re on the lookout for newsworthy content.
These bots find websites by following links from other sites or by checking sitemap files that website owners submit to Google.
Bing has its own bots, like Bingbot, which do a similar job. They also follow links and check sitemaps submitted by website owners.
The Robots.txt File
This is a special file you can put on your website. It’s like a set of instructions for the bots, telling them what they can and can’t look at on your site. It’s a way of guiding the bots to the good stuff and keeping them away from areas you don’t want them to index.
Understanding how search engines work is like learning the rules of the game. It helps you make your website easier to find and rank higher in search results. Remember, it’s all about making your website appealing and easy for the bots to understand and index!
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