How do search engines work?

Infiltrate Google’s Methodology

Understanding “how do search engines work?” can affect the future of your business and how it grows. Of course, none of us were born as a fancy techie person, and to become Findable you don’t have to be one. Shall we begin?

Keywords: The Starting Point for Findability

Let’s start by investigating the true meaning of keywords, and how they help with search engine ranking:

A keyword is any term that an Internet user types into a search box on Google, Bing, Yahoo!, or other search engine. Keywords are the starting point for Findability that every prospect or customer uses when searching for a solution or making a purchase online.

Finding information based on the desired/necessary/focused keyword is how the search process works, and your customers type them daily to navigate their search query.

BEWARE!!! – The term “keyword” can be misleading:

It can consist of a single word – for instance, if you type “coffee” into the search box on Google, that’s a keyword.

It can be a string of words – “Starbucks Coffee” or “Starbucks Coffee Maker French Press” are also keywords.

Just remember – Keyword might refer to a single word or a multiple-word phrase combined to create the perfect search results for the seeker.

To put it in simple words – Keywords are how search engines deliver results on the world wide web.

How Google Came to Be

Even Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn’t quite expect global success of this scale when they founded Google in 1996. That was far from their intention.

Actually, frustration was the motivation behind it all.

Larry and Sergey were frustrated at the time because they could not get access to the most current work of professors and students on campus.

It sounds unbelievable from this point of time, but to access a professor’s writings, students had to wait a couple of years until the document was published and added to the library.

That was completely unacceptable to Larry and Sergei, so for their final project they created a simple database that would give Stanford students easy access to the most current material.

That’s why they created Google as we know it. The search engine began as a way of cataloguing material prior to publication.

When it comes to improving a website’s Findability, always remember the original intent of this technology was to index and provide access to academic publications. Why? Because, believe it or not, it still works the same way today.

Google Operates Like a Robot

The robot is continually on the lookout for new and updated web pages to add to Google’s index. When a person types a query into the search box, the Google robot scans the most relevant information on the Internet through this index to match the searcher’s word or phrase.  

An algorithm governs the robot, which is really just a techy-sounding name for a series of steps needed to complete a process. As a result of Google’s origins, the algorithm judges website content according to the standard of its “professorship.”

When you create website content, Google will rank the search results based on how you demonstrate your expertise, much like being a professor in your field.

Don’t worry. You don’t need to be a super techno-geek to improve your Findability.

But, you do need to demonstrate you are a trustworthy voice in your field; a thought leader who knows what you’re talking about that can give Internet searchers what they need.

Whether you have information about a drug that saves a cardiac patient’s life or fruit-flavored lip-gloss, the principle of “how do search engines?” work is exactly the same.

Capture the Google Robot’s Attention

So you wish to be found by the people who use your products or services.

The most important thing you need to know, is to create content based on what the Google robot considers relevant. In essence, your content has to be seen and acknowledged by the robot, which in turn connects you to your prospects and customers.

Now you understand why you must construct more than an attractive website for online success. The robot doesn’t notice your beautiful design. Of course, good design and well-written copy are very important for the people who find you, so these things cannot be ignored. Once visitors arrive, then you can convert them, but they have to get there first.

How Search Engines Make an Index

Search engines index websites by releasing a program called web crawler. The web crawlers scan your web content and create a copy of it together with your URL.

Then they go back and scan all the links on your page and go crawling through them. This is how they collect enormous data into their index.

After the data is collected, they choose to rank it higher or lower in the search results, based on certain parameters.

Here are some questions that are usually involved in the process of indexing:

Is your content unique, relevant and useful to the reader?
Do you update your content often?
Is your domain trustworthy?
Are other websites linking to your content?

Do Search Engines Index Every Single Page on the Internet?

Not by a long shot. First of all, there are millions of new pages coming out every day, so it’s impossible for one search engine to collect all the new data that keeps pouring out.

If you answered most of our indexing questions with no, chances are you might be having an “uncrawlable” site, that will never show in search results. This is where you DO NOT wish to be.

Are All Search Engines the Same?

Search engines were not created equally. Each of them uses different steps (algorithms) for finding information, so the search results will be different as well.

It is quite possible for different search engines to have a unique order of available sites. Others might omit certain search results.

The truth is, ranking agencies want you to be confused AND ready to pay a lot of money to sort that confusion. We say it’s enough!

Let’s become findable without having to suffer the weird jargon, and let’s understand how do search engines work – so you can allow them to work for you!

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