How The Search Engines Work
Here in a nutshell I will briefly explain how the search engines work.
I Am Sorry That It Is A Bit Of A Long Page But It Is Crucial That You Understand The Basic Concepts Of Ranking Your Website On The Search Engines So You Will Be Able To Follow My Advice If You Want To Be In The Top 10.
The search engines are not “almighty” in the sense that they know it all and see all. They are “machines” based upon human input who create the algorithms that govern them and makes them work. No more scary than the PC you are using to read this page, search engines are machines…
What they basically do is they work like telephone directories, just like a telephone book but only for websites. Your website has to be submitted to them directly or indirectly to be included in their index of websites in their database. This database grows and grows and keeps being added to all the time as thousands of websites are launched every day. For this reason it is getting harder and harder to rank high.
Rankings are the placement of your website in the order of relevance when someone makes a search. Your website may be indexed, but not ranking in the top 10, and if it is not in the top 10, then it may as well be dead.
Once your website has been reported and indexed by the search engines, the search engines will send out a robot (commonly referred to as a spider, as they crawl the Internet and the Word Wide Web) that will crawl over every page of your site, reading the text on the site and making a decision on what your website is all about. It then places a copy of your page in it’s memory and if all things are correct, will deliver it as results to people who make searches on the search engines.
The spider also visits other websites and if it finds other websites referencing yours, it will start giving your site a popularity rating based upon the number and quality of links pointing to your site from other websites.
These “spiders” should visit your website often, to determine if you are making changes and if you are adding to the knowledge base of the Internet. The more often these “spiders” visit your site, the more it means that the search engines like your website and the higher they should value your website. Every link that it finds on other websites linking towards your’s also contributes to your site’s popularity rating and makes the spider visit more often.
Every page you create on your site is seen as a “website on it’s own” and stand the chance of ranking for it’s own keywords (keywords are the search phrases people use to search for products, services, solutions and information) in the search engines.
Example : You have just created a website about all the fruit that is available in the world. Your homepage is an introduction to all the different varieties of fruit that can be found with sub pages leading of from there to the different fruits. So now you will have a homepage intro about ALL the fruits and sub pages about apples, bananas, oranges etc etc.
On your page about “apples”, you may give a brief intro about the different kinds and what apples are all about with sub pages leading of to the different apple varieties, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, etc etc..
Now, when someone searches for the term “golden delicious apples” on Google, who’s spider has determined that your website is about fruit > apples > golden delicious apples. Google is not going to show your home page in the search results, but the MOST RELEVANT page to the search phrase “keyword” being used.
Your Apples page will rank when someone searches for “apples information”, your Golden Delicious Apples page is going to rank for searches “golden delicious apples” and your homepage is going to rank for “fruits”.
By paying attention to what the search engine spiders want and by providing them with “spider food” you can attract them to your site more often and influence the way they behave on your website by doing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
So How Exactly Does SEO Work?
This is the million dollar question. And I can almost guarantee you that for every person you ask, you’ll get a different answer. That’s because marketing to the search engines is like any creative endeavor: cooking, painting, carpentry, etc.
If you ask five people to bake a cake, you’ll get five unique cakes each with different ingredients. Ask ten people to craft you a chair and you’ll get ten distinct pieces each with its own style.
Because the search engines change their ranking algorithms (the equations they use to analyze a website’s reputation and rank ability) so often, and they each use such widely varying criteria, there are literally hundreds of ways to promote your site to the first page of search results.
However, there are certain universal guidelines regarding what central principles and elements are vital to your search marketing strategy. There are also very clear rules against certain practices that attempt to cheat or trick the search engine spiders to visit your website and rank it.