SEO / Technology

How Search Engines Work

Search engines only do two things! Isn’t it nice to know that all this time you’ve been stressing about SEO, that all you had to factor were two seemingly small elements? Search engines crawl and list. This is the very first thing you need to know when building the foundations of your SEO campaign. I will explain what crawl and list mean in this post. I will also talk about how your site can land on a search engine’s radar. Let’s do some SEO!

Here is a quote from Danny Dover. This among other helpful resources can be found on his site moz.com.

Imagine the World Wide Web as a network of stops in a big city subway system.

Each stop is its own unique document (usually a web page, but sometimes a PDF, JPG or other file). The search engines need a way to “crawl” the entire city and find all the stops along the way, so they use the best path available – links.

Think of the Internet as a big bus map. The SEO crawlers (or spiders as some people call them) are trying to create a map of the entire internet so that search engines can find your site among other sites.

A Link is the most direct path to your site

Think of a link as the most direct way to your site, one that doesn’t require “surfing,” or “browsing.” A link is a one way shot to your site. It’s what shows search engines that your site exists. This is why it is so important to get other people to link your site or blog articles. As soon as a link to your site or blog article pops up on a search engine’s radar, spiders are sent over to classify your site.

Spiders look at your site’s blueprints in order to categorize it in their hard drive

Search engines like Google Yahoo or Bing have expansive hard drives that store the information of all the websites they know of (or are linked to as I explained above). The search engine needs to spit out information about a site very quickly, and it needs to give the searcher what they want in a matter of 1 to 2 seconds. For this reason, search engines like your site’s blueprints to be clear and direct.

“Search Engines are Answer Machines”–Danny Dover

Search engines take the information the spiders have collected and stored on their hard drive. The spiders then analyze what the searcher wants out of what they type into the search bar. Next, the search engine tries to match a website’s blueprint to what the searcher enters into the search bar. According to how close the blueprint matches the searcher’s needs, websites are ranked in the search results.

That’s not all!!!

The most important thing that I can teach you is that SEO is always changing. In 2014, SEO is all about content. The internet was built, and still functions, as an information database. What we will be talking about in the future BASICS post is all about content and keywords, which will help boost your site’s rank on search engines.

As a quick teaser, think about the best website you’ve visited (in terms of user friendliness, popping colors or graphics, and content). List your thoughts about what makes that website great in the comments below. You’ll be surprised to find that there is a reason one site catches your attention more than others. Soon you will see that yours and a search engine’s ranking are more alike than you think.

Check out all of our awesome SEO posts here!

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