What is a Search Engine and how does it Work?
Search Engine Optimization, or ‘SEO’ in short, is a way of showing the worth of your website/pages in Google’s Index by sending signals to search engines. If you Google Search anything you normally spend your time viewing the first page of the results and perhaps the second. The key objective here is to have your Website on the first page of Google; ultimately this drives more traffic to your website. Sounds easy enough, right?
But let’s get a better understanding of how Search Engines work. Google is the largest search engine in the world; we can understand why people mistake it for ‘being’ the Internet. There are 2 main things a search engine does, Crawling, and Indexing:
This is where it all starts, an automated system (bot/crawler) is used to scan web pages gathering information, and Google calls this a spider. It’s a system that views web pages, just like we would view them but only faster. What does this spider view when crawling? The entire site, from keywords used to images and it then compiles a list. This data is used to provide better search results for the user. See our keyword optimization tips to maximize your indexing potential.
Once the crawler has gathered all the information required, it goes through to indexing. All the information gathered is then stored into a database, a virtual library.
Once the information is indexed it will be available on the search engine if deemed worthy and not breaking any TOS rules. When you search for anything on the internet, the most relevant information to your search will show.
Now that we have a better understanding of what a search engine is and how it works, let’s discuss the crawling process a bit more and what you can do to get your page discovered a bit faster.
During the crawling process, the information that is gathered still needs to be sorted. How does the “spider” differentiate between relevant information and popular pages? With the help of an Algorithm of course, but what is an Algorithm?
It’s a program, a unique formula with its own set of rules to determine the relevance of web pages. Unfortunately, these are not well known rules and are a best kept secret, only known by Google and the best SEO Service Providers out there, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. All search engines give you just a little bit of help to steer you into the direction you need to go.
Nothing is more frustrating than being mislead when you are searching for something specific. Ensure you set your page up with quality content pertaining to the users search (depending on your niche). Content that is interesting and captivating goes a long way, so keep uploading new content and updating old content if necessary.
You need to match content to what users are searching for using keywords. If you were searching for any information from your page, what words would you use to look for the information? See our post on On-Page Optimization, explaining how to make the most of your keyword placement.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, a start into the wonderful world of SEO. Once you have a better understanding of everything you will be able to succeed in your venture.