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When a search engine indexes the pages on your site, they don’t actually store the entire page. What they do instead is to store information about the text on your pages. Which words appeared on the page, and where they occurred.
Images, scripts, and rich media may also be indexed and stored, but these are only found through specialized searches. People still use words to search, so search engines mainly care about the words that are on your pages.
In addition to the text of your site, some search engines also store the content of your META tags. The description META tag is sometimes used to display a description of your page when a web surfer sees the results of a search.
Along with the textual content, search engines store information about the hyperlinks on each page. This helps the search engine to determine what the page is about, because the text in hyperlinks often reveals something about the subject matter of the page.
This also enables them to determine the “link popularity” and relevance of the pages each site links to. This is the main way that search engines find out about new websites and pages.
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