How Search Engines and Optimization Services Work
Google, Bing, and Yahoo are the three biggest names in the world of search engines today. Google has become so popular, we’ve made a verb out of it – “just Google it”. But how do search engines work? What is actually happening behind the scenes? How can we use what’s happening to our benefit? Is there a way to capitalize on optimization? Where do search engine optimization (SEO) services and companies fit in?
The Building Blocks
Let’s start at the foundations of search engines. Google and other search engines don’t store entire documents, pages or websites; there would simply never be enough room. The bread and butter of the search engine world is something called crawling and indexing. These are the two main functions of any search engine’s service. Crawling is done by small processing units called bots or spiders and they scour the web and all of its complicated highways and byways, i.e. following links on various pages. As each page is visited, the spider reads, deciphers, and stores pieces of the most relevant information from that page. This is called indexing and this storage allows for fast recall on inquiry. Even though bots only keep pieces from each page, it still accounts for enormous amounts of information and storage. Most storage happens in datacenters all over the world; ready to recall for you and your search bar query any time of day or night.
What Happens When We Search?
Now that we know how the databases are created, how do we find what we need? How does Google know what we need? How can we have our company recognized and advertised as a good resource?
Basically, when we search, search engines do two main things: find pages with relevant information and rank pages with relevant information, mostly according to popularity. It is therefore most important for your business to optimize the relevancy and popularity of your site – the key things SEO aims to influence.
Relevant Information and Popularity
But how does Google and other search engines define relevancy? Many tailor them to local, nearby options as well as key particulars so as not to mislead the client. This explains the SEO practice and the importance of keywords specific to your area, your business, and your intended target market.
Popularity is based on the concept of “if lots of people used this site, it must be good”. This concept has worked for search engines for many years. If your site is vague and unhelpful, there won’t be a lot of traffic and it can be placed lower down on the list.
Algorithms and Ranking
So we know the concept of ranking, but how do search engines have time to determine relevancy and popularity? These processes can be looked at like a wheat analogy: first we must sift and sort the wheat from the chaff, and then we must order the wheat in terms of quality and the wheat people like to eat more.
Search engines do this via complex algorithms, which measure your site’s relevancy and popularity objectively. If these ranking factors were freely available, everyone would make sure these criteria were fulfilled and finding truly relevant and good options would be difficult. This is also the way that search engines compete with each other: who can produce the best results the fastest?
Research conducted this year showed at least 90 different hypothesized ranking factors. Data, collected and correlated by 150 search and marketing experts, has shown that these factors have a part to play in search engine optimization services. Although not confirmed by search engines, they are denied either; this fact is used and IS shown to be helpful in SEO practices.
Ranking factors are numerous, but the main ones can be broken down into two groups: domain factors and page factors. Things in domain factors include the quality and number of links in your domain, the level and quality of keyword usage, and the level of brand metric. Page factors include keyword usage, content based features, and various agnostic features like content length, readability, uniqueness, and load speed.
Knowing these factors and how they affect rankings is well and good, but how does it translate onto your business and your business’s website? There some simple tips that can boost the authority of your site; they are best applied by companies who specialize in SEO practices like Connectica Inc.
If you have any questions or would like to engage in SEO practices, contact us at Connectica Inc. today.
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