First, Search Engines Like Google Crawl the Internet by Following Links.
Think of the Internet as a spider-web of interlinked websites and web pages. Google follows all of the links that exist between different websites and web pages to form its view of the web. This is called “crawling.”
Next, an Index of Web Pages is Created.
During the crawl, search engines analyze over 200 factors to understand each page and to develop a holistic view of every website. Then, Search Engines like Google match specific web pages to specific searcher intents and keywords, and prioritizes them based on its assessment. This is called “indexing.”
Finally, SERPs are Returned for Specific Search Queries.
When a user with a matching intent performs a search, search engines are able to surface results from their index in milliseconds. The resulting pages and search results are called search engine result pages or SERPs.