Search engines have two main functions: index sites and give users answers to queries.
In the article, we will tell how search engines and search robots work – how they index sites and provide answers – and how to grow a site’s ranking.
From the article you will learn:
How search engines index sites
Imagine the world wide web as a network of stops in a huge metro. Each stop is a unique document. This is usually a web page, but sometimes it is a PDF, JPG or other file. Search engines need a way to search the entire city and find all the stops along the way. To do this, they use the most accessible route – links.
The web link structure links all pages. Links help search engines crawl billions of related documents on the web.
As soon as search engines find these pages, they decrypt their code and store the selected samples in huge databases. Search engines pull them out of there when a search query requires it. To store billions of pages and deliver them on demand in a split second, search engine companies have built data centers around the world.
How search engines respond to queries
Search engines are machines that provide answers. When a person searches for something online, the robot combes its array of a billion documents and: produces only those results that respond to a user’s request;
ranks them according to the popularity of sites that provide this information.
How Search Engines Determine Relevance and Popularity
For a search engine, relevance is more than just finding a page with specific keywords.
At the dawn of the web, search engines did not go beyond this simplified step, and the search results were not very valuable. Over the years, engineers have developed better ways to match results with user requests. Today, hundreds of factors influence relevance. Further – about the most important of them.
Search engines usually assume that the more popular a site, page or document, the more valuable the information in it.
Popularity and relevance are not determined manually. Search engines use algorithms to first sort the results by relevance, and then rank them by quality, or popularity.
These algorithms often include hundreds of variables. In search marketing, they are called ranking factors. Moz even created a special resource on this subject – Search Engine Ranking Factors. Here you can read about the results of a survey of experts on the impact of various ranking factors.
How to get a higher search engine ranking
Sophisticated search engine algorithms may seem like a dense forest. Search engines do not talk about how to achieve better results or collect more traffic. But they provide a set of rules for SEO optimization.
Google Webmaster SEO Optimization Instructions
Create pages for users, not for search engines. Do not fool users. Do not give out one content to search engines, and another – to users.
Create a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Each page must be accessible from at least one static text link.
Create a useful website rich in information. Write texts for pages that clearly and clearly describe your content. Make sure the title elements and ALT attributes are accurate and describe the content.
Use keywords to create descriptive, human-readable links. Provide one version of the link and use 301 redirects or the rel = “canonical” attribute for duplicate content.
In addition, you can read Google Beginner’s Search Engine Optimization Guide.
To understand how search engines rank sites, webmasters conduct experiments. In the process, you can understand how search engines rank sites.
Some of the experiments conducted by Moz webmasters followed this pattern:
Register a new site with meaningless keywords.
Create many pages on the site. All of them were built around one key term – also meaningless.
Make the pages almost the same. Then change one variable in them – for example, the location of the text, formatting, keywords, link structure.
Link to the created domain from indexed pages on other domains.
Mark for yourself the position number of pages in search engines.
Make small changes to pages and evaluate their impact on search results. This is necessary to understand what factors can increase or decrease the rating.
Record any meaningful results and retest them on other domains or with different keys. If several tests constantly produce the same results, you may have discovered a pattern that search engines use.
Testing is helpful. But this is not the only thing that can be done to understand the work of search engines. You can understand more by reading patent applications from search engines at the US Patent Office.
The most famous patent application is PageRank. Thanks to her, Google became popular in the late 90s.
PageRank is a link ranking algorithm. In it, each web page is assigned a numerical value. It measures the “importance” or “authority” of a page among others. More on PageRank Using testing methods and knowledge from patent applications, SEO-specialists began to understand many basic operations of search engines and the main components of sites and pages that bring ranking and traffic.
In a future article, we’ll talk about how people interact with search engines.