Search Engines – How They Work, Our Favorites & Why – Itworknplay

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Complex Modern Marvels!

Search Engines

They Are All Just A Bunch Of Crawlers

Its not just what you see in your browser that search engines look at. Their spider like code crawls the web looking for new content which they add to their huge databases making the data ready to call upon in a fraction of a second from their web based HTML search site.

illustration diagram of how a search engine works
It Has To Be Natural!

The company behind the search engine you use know only too well if their search results list is generated based on who pays the most people will loose trust in that engine and gradually go elsewhere.

Top 3 Search Engine Must Haves

  1. Crawling – The automated, systematic web browsing software that slowly works its way around the web looking at every url.
  2. Indexing – Making sense of the retrieved data from a web site and storing it in a useful database system.
  3. Searching – The search web site where you go to enter your key phrase which then retrieves the most relevant unbiased information.

Search Brands

The Major U.K Search Engines

The More The Merrier. There are many search engines U.K searchers use to answer their queries. We discuss the first and the ones that are still with us and popular. Search companies are only listed from when they first use their own engines.

poular search engine logos scattered
We Decide Who Rules!

While search engines return unbiased results for your query we will no doubt keep using them and little will change. People generally loose faith for shopping heavy paid results.

Top 5 Oldest Search Engines

  1. JumpStation – December 1993 the worlds first real search engine that incorporated everything we now recognise as essential.
  2. Ask Jeeves – April 1997 The 'natural language' based search where the user searches using sentences and questions.
  3. Google – 1998 Although not the first but now the main U.K search engine with a huge 86% market share.
  4. Yahoo – 2002 Finally using their own search technology.
  5. Bing – Started life as MSN search in 2004 when Microsoft first used their own search technology and eventually renamed to Bing in June Of 2009.

Search Engine Algorithms

It's Just A Formula

A predefined, complex and now well developed set of instructions.. that extract useful content to add to a database and examine and rate the entire sites content and use of code.

flow chart showing how a typical search engine works
How Do Search Engines Rate Sites?

They all use a complex algorithm. No one knows for sure except the search companies, but it is widely believed that the major engines look at over two hundred aspects of your site's code and content.

Top 4 Search Algorithm Facts

  1. It makes sense – If site designers knew exactly what the main search engines look at, search engine results would be meaningless.
  2. Search engines keep records of your sites changes good and bad, even worse this is associated with your company URL (the www.yourcompany bit) so don't trust your sites administration to just anyone.
  3. Make sure all of your HTML is semantically correct – Search engine algorithms find it much easier to understand your content and reward accordingly.
  4. The major search companies have teams of experts refining and developing their search systems and algorithms to keep up with the modern world and to actually change the way web designers write code and also to seek out those that try to cheat the system and penalise their url.

Market Share

Who Rules The Roost?

If you are thinking Google you would be right. Google has consistently been the U.K's most popular search engine pretty much since its debut even though there was established competition.

colourful pie chart showing search engine brand market share
We Decide Who Rules!

While search engines return unbiased results for your query we will no doubt keep using them and little will change. People generally loose faith for shopping heavy paid results so the search engines know not to push their luck as they all want the largest market share.

Top 5 Most Popular U.K Search Engines

  1. Google – With a massive eighty seven percent Google is clearly the U.k's number one search engine.
  2. Bing – A strong lead over it's nearest rival is Bing with 9% share but miles behind the leader.
  3. Yahoo – Continuing to slide at three percent is Yahoo.
  4. AOL – Just a quarter of one percent of us choose to search with AOL.
  5. Ask Jeeves – A twentieth of one percent is Ask Jeeves.


Don't Get Punished!


The last thing you want is a blacklisted url. So make sure you trust your web team.

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