With the introduction of the SEO Beginners Guide, I provided some insightful knowledge of what the basics of SEO are and why the strategy is required for many businesses today. This now leads to the first part of the guide – search engine operation.
Part 1 of the Beginners Guide will now explain the importance of search engines and how they operate within SEO.
So what is a search engine?
A search engine is a software platform designed to retrieve all information available on the World Wide Web. They are the single largest source of web traffic and the most common search engines used today include Google, Yahoo and Bing. Search engines incorporate automated software applications (commonly known as a spider) that crawl through the web, following links through notable pages and websites. The information gathered from the spider crawling the web is then used to create a searchable web index. The index collects, stores and facilitates fast and accurate information for the user, based off their search.
How do search engines work?
Each search engine uses a different algorithm or formula to generate search results. The first step of a user searching for a product or service involves simply typing a keyword into a search engine. This keyword then generates a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Remember in the introduction I mentioned how the words, titles and links published on a website matter? This is the reason why! The algorithm of the search engine retrieves these content elements and displays them in the SERP.
As search engines are a platform for users to source answers, they must produce results as quick as possible. The pages retrieved in the SERP will include the keywords searched and rank them in preferred order of relevance and/or importance. All search engines are different, so don’t expect the same results from Google to display in the same order as Yahoo. The more popular and relevant a website or page is, the higher it will rank when retrieved in the SERP.
Search engines are also updated simultaneously, therefore making it difficult for businesses to implement their SEO strategy. As mentioned in the introduction post, Google updates its algorithm up to 600 times per year, in order to produce relevant and up-to-date content to users. Therefore it is imperative that your website is fresh, orchestrates quality content and is updated on a consistent basis. If you don’t update your page continuously, you’ll begin to fall down the rankings in SERP’s and people will never find you.
Search engine traffic is one of the most valuable (if not the most valuable) sources of traffic. If a search engine doesn’t recognise your websites words, titles and links, based from the keywords searched by a user, then your site will miss out on valuable traffic. This may be a result of poor optimisation and you may benefit from using a reputable search agency’s services to help implement an effective strategy to help drive traffic to your website. Achieving good exposure to search users by being listed on the first page of a SERP is essential to successfully marketing your business online, thus the importance of search engines.
A well optimised website will allow ANYONE to easily find you through a search engine!
NEXT: Part 2 – Search Engine Marketing