What exactly is a Search Index and how does it function?

What exactly is a Search Index and how does it function?

Rate this article

Share this article

A search index allows users to easily find information on a website. Its main purpose is to link search queries to documents or URLs that may appear in the results.

What exactly is a Search Index and how does it function?


In simple terms, A search index is similar to the one found in a book. It enables the user to quickly find relevant information by typing in a keyword. Of course, a web search index has many technological advantages over a book search index and provides excellent tools to assist website visitors in finding what they are looking for on a fast pace.

What is Index?

Indexes are an essential component of any search system because they must be tailored to the specific information retrieval method used by the search engine’s algorithm.

The algorithm and the index are thus inseparably linked in this way. Referring to the process of converting unstructured website data into a structured format suitable for search engine algorithms.

How are search indices created?

Indexes for books are traditionally created by the writers, but also by indexing professionals known as Indexers. They identify keywords based on a content review of the book and ensure that these lead to the most important pages inside the book.

The indexing mechanism is automated by the machine. Crawlers, they are also known as web crawlers and web spiders, are responsible for creating the search index for websites. In simple terms, the crawler visits the website’s pages and gathers the information contained within. The information is then transformed into an index.

Now, if you search for “Expertrec” on Google, you will be showcased with a number of pages and URLs that are precise to your keyword “Expertrec“. A book index is static because the content of a book does not change, whereas a search index is dynamic because websites are created and updated on a regular basis.

In addition, a book index’s number of search terms is set. A web search may attempt to include all keywords and will allow queries that include different search terms. For instance, if you search for “Polo Shirts,” the search index will furnish relevant results.

How do search results from an index get returned?

When a user types any of a search query, the search engine automatically inspects for the information that contain the query. The index returns results with a title, a brief summary of the material, probably an image, and a link to the page’s URL.

Some CMS have native searchers that go straight to the CMS database. Since the database is not structured well as an index, the results will load more slowly when compared to a site search option based on an index.

How does a search index help your website?

The content of your website is automatically synchronized and collected by the search engines. Your search results are prioritized using an algorithm. Some of the results will be given more load than others, so they usually appear first on the results list.

You can choose the best custom search engine provider like Expertrec, where you can boost your search results with numerous customizable features for your website and for your clients.

What are the customizable features of Expertrec’s custom search engine?

Search Layout

Search layouts allow us to customize the fields that appear in various results lists. It’s worth to customize because it can boost efficiency by ensuring that the most relevant fields appear in search results.

Look and Feel

After a quick sign up with Expertrec and then landing on the dashboard, now you can change the look and feel of your search engine user interface.

It includes certain elements such as colors, shapes, layout, and typefaces. these are the look.

As well as the behavior of dynamic elements such as buttons, boxes, and menus these are the feel.

You can customize almost anything according to your need of the website.


The facets are a way to add precise, relevant options to the pages or category lists you search for, so you can see where your users ended up in your catalog when they look for a product or browse category.


In conclusion, we saw that the book and the search engine search indices have several similarities and differences. Usually, an index is designed to find information quickly and with little effort with a keyword. A search index is essential in creating search results and additional search engine features allow search results to be further enhanced.


Add a custom search box

Are you showing the right products, to the right shoppers, at the right time? Contact us to know more.
You may also like