How Search Engines Work: A simple guide and FAQs for hotels

Through a structured method and process, search engines organise content available on the internet; so that the results it delivers are the most relevant information, dependent on the search query.

The search engine result page (SERP) can include a variety of content; from links to websites (both paid and organic), local business listings, Hotel ads, items for sale, images, maps, videos, and more. The way search engines work can be broken down into 3 distinct tasks; crawling, indexing and ranking.

Here’s a more detailed look at the tasks that search engines perform:


Search engines examine and find content available across the web such as websites, images, and videos. Based on the volumes of content available across the web, search engines use computer programs known as bots, crawlers or spiders to examine and find content.


Bots circulate through pages; this is an ongoing process because their aim is to revisit existing content and find new links and new content to add to the index. The index is a long (ever-growing) list of web pages and content that the bots have examined and found. The information displayed on SERPs originate from the index.

Tip: When drafting content, there is value in creating unique content (titles, descriptions and more).


Based on the high volume of information available across the web, search engines need a way to sort through it. A series of algorithms form a part of a search engines ranking system. These algorithms identify many factors which will influence ranking such as (but not limited to):

  • the words or phrase typed into a search query
  • relevance and usability of pages
  • quality of content
  • location

Frequently asked SEO questions

While the method and process that search engines use is quite complex, we understand that you might still have specific questions related to your website; we've compiled a short Q&A:

Q: Do I need to do any SEO on my new Springnest site when it launches?
A: We ensure that your Springnest website complies with the requirements of search engines like Google, and when we set up your website, we do an initial optimization.

Q: Is having multiple domains beneficial to my site's SEO?
A: No, and it's important that your site content isn't duplicated over multiple websites on different domains. If you need or have multiple domains, only one should host your site and the rest should all be forwarding web traffic to that domain with permanent redirects or Google may penalize your search rankings.

Q: What happens to the search ranking of my existing domain when I switch to Springnest?
A: If you have an existing domain with website, we copy all the existing links on the old site and setup the permanent redirects prior to launch to help retain the existing ranking. This means any link from emails or other websites to your current website, will continue to work on your new website.

Q: How long does it take? (ranking)
A: Google starts indexing a website as soon as they know about the website (more on this in the next answer). But ranking is something that will improve over weeks to months and constantly change as long as the website is competing with other websites for ranking.

Q: Do I need to inform Google of my site (to be ranked)
A: This is included in Springnest's launch process. We create a Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools) account for every website that we launch, upload a sitemap, and request re-indexing of the new website. This also allows us to verify that the website is visible to Google's Crawlers, and that it is mobile friendly, all in one step.

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About Springnest Team

We love creating intuitive and understandable guides, tutorials, and how-to’s for our clients, whether they are only starting out with their Facebook Page, or plotting a content strategy or campaign.
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About Lilian Padiachy

Customer Success at Springnest, writes about digital marketing and using Springnest features.
  • Johannesburg, South Africa