In communication world dealing with transfer and reception of digital video, practically, it is not possible to store the full moving image sequence because of the problems that encountered during its storage and transmission. Due to this reason, video compression is essentially required. The basic idea behind the compression technology is to remove the redundant data from the video file so that it can be transmitted over the network line using less number of bits and can be effectively stored on system disks. For video compression, motion estimation is the key element for finding the motion between successive frames and is achieved using block matching algorithm. In this paper, literature survey of block based motion estimation algorithms is carried out. It compares five basic block matching based motion estimation algorithms namely exhaustive search (ES), three step search (TSS), new three step search (NTSS), four step search (FSS) and diamond search (DS) algorithm on the basis of number of search location and their advantages and disadvantages. The algorithms concluded in this paper are used for various standards.