Do You Understand Search Engines?
by Jane Selwyn-James | on June 2, 2012
Search Engines – Do You Understand Them?
If you want Google to find you, you must know how search engines work – so the question – do you understand search engines?
Many people who have websites are either completely overwhelmed by the ‘science’ of search engine optimisation or completely confused by its complexity! the unlucky ones have probably paid out a lot of money to be ‘guaranteed’ to be at the top of Google’s rankings in searches within 24-48 hours – and then the immense disappointment thereafter at the lack of traffic produced and ultimately the waste of their money.
However, the majority of those working as search engine optimisers are honest; work with integrity; have high standards of ethics and professionalism. but – here’s the but – they don’t willingly give up their knowledge!
The secret of search engine optimisation – that’s it! That’s the secret – there is no secret! You have to understand what is going on in the invisible world of search engines and follow that with the attention to detail and hard work that is required for this field. If something is worth having and winning at – it is worth working for! No quick fixes at search engine optimisation.
Search Engines – Inside
The most important part of course is the software that makes all this work. We can break this down into 3 categories – 1. spiders, 2. index and 3. query software. This is what each does so you have a clear picture:-
Search Engines – Spiders
These literally crawl and trawl the web searching for new web pages which they can collect and add to the index software.
Obviously these are not real spiders – yeuch!! No real crawling here! It is more about a request for pages from a website (or many many websites and pages), whether we are talking about Google, Microsoft Explorer or Firefox – whichever you use for your requests.
Spiders only collect texts – that is the difference here – they are also interested in the links and the urls from which they come (eg /jselwynjames is my url). Nothing is displayed by the spider and it gathers as much information as possible as fast as possible for the search engines. As it doesn’t collect images it makes it really important for you to identify any images you may insert in your text by using an ‘alt’ tag – whether photos, logs or videos. Without this, your images will have no value for or to the search engines.
Remember – to rank well in the search engines – a spider loves links as they lead to more web pages which have more of what it craves – text, links and urls! Feed the spider!
Links from social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blog sites – links leading in and links leading out to other web pages – make the search engines spider equally happy in its crawling activities!
Search Engines – Indexing
This is where the search engines spiders send all their catches – to be sorted out – all links, text and urls. To do this the search engines use a complex mathematical formula called an algorithm – sorting words, paairs of words and a whole host more.
In simple terms, this software does the job of analysing all links and web pages, searching for word cominations to show what that site page is about – what topics are covered there. Then some scoring takes place which allows the search engines to measure the relevancy or importance of that page and its url to the query placed by the searcher on that topic. The major search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo have their own algorithms (secret of course!) for scoring – what is the same is that all search engines use the information collected by the spiders.
The index software has recorded all that has been collected by the spider and it is now available for queries placed within the search engines and stored for future searches.
Search Engines – Query Software
The searcher types a word – let’s say that word is ‘flower’ and this is where the query software kicks into action. The search engines will now try to match that word, or words with the best, most relevant web pages it can find – literally searching the web! However, it is not really the web that is now being searched is is searching though those stored records created by the index from the spider! Using of course, the text, links and urls. Clever stuff!
Search Engines – Understanding
So all this work has gone on behind the scenes so to speak. However, it only becomes available when a search is activated by using a word or words in the search bar of the search engine.
After that it’s down to the words that people use in their searches – this absolutely determines the results that the search engines show – and the order in which they do it! So those working as search engines optimisers want to know what words searchers are using. These are the keywords – literally the words used to search.
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