Search Engines – the stories half known
Many many years ago, when someone had to complete a project or research, they used to go to the library and spend hours and hours to find the answers to their questions. The way knowledge is sought today is very different. Digital search, most popularly through Google Search has made information seeking very easy and quick. And the beauty of it is that almost anyone and everyone has access to it.
“The ultimate search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give back what you want..” – Larry Page
How does a search engine work?
Searches are part of our day to day life. Any question that pops up in our head, Google has an answer to it. You get millions of possible results within milliseconds. The history of Search Engine was back in 1990 when Alan Emtage created the first search engine named Archie. Well! We all know Google is our saviour, but have you ever wondered how does a search engine work when you put in a search query? Do you know how blunders (like searching ‘idiot’ showed President’s face) happen?
Now there are three primary functions on how the search engines work:
- Crawling: Crawling discovers the data. It involves collecting details about each page, title, images, keywords, etc. The website it then crawled with an automated bot called spiders, which visits page after page as soon as possible and finds the next similar links on where to go next.
- Indexing: Indexing stores and organizes the results which are already being found in the crawling process. Ones the page is an index, it will be displayed as a result of relevant queries.
- Ranking: When you perform a search, engines check their index for the highly relevant content as per your query, and orders the content according to the user’s search query.
Well! Google is not the only search engine that exists. Apart from Google, there are other search engines say, Bing, CrunchBase, Quora, Yahoo, Ask.com, etc. And more or less, they all have a similar process for searching.
“Voice search is next big thing to watch in Searching”
How is Siri, Alexa searching to give the result?
Alexa is a voice assistant that is trending in today’s world. It is not produced by Google instead it is brought by Amazon. Here’s how Alexa works, Alexa gets information from the Bing search engine. When the user speaks to the device, the speech is streamed to Alexa service in the cloud, Alexa then recognizes the speech, analyses what the user wants and sends the request to a particular skill that can fulfil user’s request. Similarly, Siri is a voice assistant in the Apple Mobile phones, the only difference being here is, it uses Google as a Search Engine and not Bing. Many phones support Google Assitant which is another app that uses voice search.