Chapter 3 – How Search engine works?
In the last chapter, we learned what is the importance of users in SEO. In this chapter we will have a look what are the key points to keep in mind with respect to search engine while preforming SEO. SEO starts at the point when you decide to build your website and is a continuous process which needs to keep on moving.
When you decide to build your website or when you start building it, you need to keep this in mind that it is for users, but at the same time it should be search engine friendly. The whole point of creating a website is to get your website getting found by search engines and getting listed for searches. If you have a great website, but the search engines have a difficult time with your website you will lose out on traffic.
Creating a search engine friendly website is the first step of SEO. To create a search engine friendly we need to know how search engine works and what are its limitation.
Let us now understand how search engine works. When I refer search engine we will be mostly talking about google. There are other search engine like bing, yahoo, ask and several other local search engines. However, 80% of online search are preformed on Google, which simply outperforms others. So our focus will be on Googe. However, I would like to do tutorial on bing and yahoo as well if there is demand from my readers.
Let us see what Google has to say about how their search engine works. This is a short video from Mat Cutts, who is an engineer in google quality department.
Let me summarize, what Matt Cutts has said in this video.
First key take away from this video is how google finds new website and how and what information it stores in its database to give search result. In this regard Google performs two key functions.
Crawling: Google discovers the pages on the internet by crawling the pages with software programs called spider or bots. They start with initial web pages which they crawled last time and then follow the links to web pages which they point to. It is similar to the way we surf the page. We first type link in the address bar and go through web page and when we find a link on a web page which has got more information which we were looking for then we click on that link to move to the next page. Thus, Google discover new web pages by following links from one page to another.
Indexing: Once they have found new pages they create index of those pages so that they can come back to the index to find a result for search preformed on Google. These indexes can be related to index of book. They are quite similar, an index in book helps us to find in which chapter or on which page to find the information which we are looking for. Google index helps google in the same way.
Google indexes are key information of pages which they store in their database. This index grows with time as the number of web pages on the internet grows.
Second part of the video explains what happens when you perform search and how does google present the results.
When you type your search query in the search box. It searches its index and scans the web page to find out if they contain the information what you are looking for. There could be thousands of web pages which can contain search term which you have typed in. Then how do they determine which is the most relevant in terms of information which you are looking for and which webpage should be put first in search results.
They do the relevancy check of a web page for a search result by following an algorithm. This algorithm checks web page on 200 different parameters to find if it is relevant to show that web page for this search result or not. If it is relevant, then how much relevance it is so that they can decide on what position they need to put this web page on a search result list.
You must be wondering that if you know what all the 200 parameters are, then it will be easy for you to do SEO. To be honest, no one knows what all the 200 parameters are. If someone says he knows it, he is faking it. Not all parameters are known, but yes, some key parameters have been found by SEO professional or webmaster (as they are known as). They use this knowledge to manipulate their visibility on search engine.
Some key parameters which Google uses to decide the relevancy of a web page is, keyword, number and quality of links pointing to a web page, page rank (it is a formula) and so on. We will discuss some key parameters in coming chapters and how to use them.
Every one in the world knows that there are two ways to get success. One is to follow the right path and the other is to follow the wrong path. Same applies to SEO. There is white hat SEO and there is black hat SEO.
White hat SEO is to follow guidelines laid by Google or other search engine to optimize your site which obviously takes time. Black hat SEO is to manipulate the loop holes of search engine and use it to rank better on search result. Most of black hat techniques are spam.
If you have listened to the video carefully you can hear Matt Cuts clearly mentioning that they are committed to fight SPAM. So if you know about any black hat SEO technique I would suggest you not to use it as it will do you more harm than good in the long run.
I hope by now you are familiar with concept how search engines works. If you have any doubt I would highly encourage you to ask questions. We also need to discuss the limitation of search engine so I have decided to put that in the next chapter. For those who are not able to see the video for any reason you can watch this animated story of google on how search engine works just click on the link below.