Search engines are complicated systems that find, index and rank your content.
Once you know the inner workings of a search engine, and come to realise that a tiny army of spiders or bots are constantly crawling your website, in order to rank and index it.
Once you get to grips with this you'll start to understand SEO a lot more.
Why Is This Information So Important?
With this information you can really start leveraging your blog content, and books online.
We're going to take a look at essentials to help you lay the groundwork for a fruitful writing career online.
The Mechanics of Google Search
Google Search operates by crawling and indexing web pages.
What is Crawling and Indexing?
All search engines use algorithms to rank their pages, but this doesn't mean they use the same ranking system. So you may appear higher in one search engine than another.
For instance Google's primary goal is to give its users high quality content, others may use user experience, and linking building, for their functionality.
Google is at the cutting edge in search engine technology, and has a market share of 85.55% as of 2021 (stastista.com).
And has become a part of everyday culture today, even finding itself in the English dictionary with the verb "to Google".
It's pretty clear that Google is king of the search engines, but how does this technological wonder really work?
It uses two stages:
Crawls: Google sends out spiders to crawl the web, and every page found is added to their massive database
Indexes: All results indexed, put in order, and added to their database
Once you understand that Google is no different to any other library or marketplace, and that all the information contained in it is processed, and put into that library.
How Does Google Crawl Millions of Web Pages?
Every page published online is crawled, and indexed and this is what you see when you search online.
Each web page goes through a careful crawling process, then when it's found safe it is indexed correctly for it's users. That's why you won't find anything from the 'dark web' popping up when you search Google.
Google does this so it can:
- Access a trusted database
- Provide a user-friendly and quicker experience
- Allow Google to use its own "tags" to help deliver relevant results
What Do Crawlers Do?
Their main job is to:
- Discover new web pages to index
- Scrape information from each webpage
How does a crawler know which website to look for and recover that information?
The Job of a Crawler
The World Wide Web is called "web" for a reason, that's because it's spread out through the whole world.
Links known as hyperlinks and backlinks keep the world wide web together.
Spiders are used to crawl through each webpage, and as we saw earlier, these invisible workers, or bots do all of the work.
A crawler looks for a new page, reads the page and its code.
This is where SEO comes in. In a perfect world all website code would be easy to read, but unfortunately Google's spiders find it difficult to interpret everything set out on a web page.
Each spider works independently employing machine learning from the search engine algorithm to determine which pages should be indexed and put in the Google index.
How Does Google Index Millions of Web Pages?
This is where Google Search starts adding all of the crawled web pages to its giant library of information.
Quick note: Google Search files away all of the pages that have been "tagged".
The library analogy describes perfectly how each webpage is sorted, then dropped off at the library, organised, and tagged before being placed properly online for all to read.
Why Popularity is Why People Succeed on the Internet
As I mentioned at the beginning, all search engines use an algorithm to order their pages.
What is an Algorithm?
Algorithm's work using a series of equations based on different factors that help the computer choose what order each web page should be ranked.
When other websites start linking to a particular website, it's like "voting" for that particular website.
Which is why you often see the same websites at the top of each search you do.
If you search regularly you'll notice this particular pattern.
A good example of this would be if you looked for a particular news story, you'll notice that the bigger media outlets like The Daily Mail, Huffingtonpost, all rank higher and carry more weight than a smaller unestablished blog that's bringing similar news stories.
The Difference Between Other Search Engines and Google Search
Search engines come in many different forms:
All of these companies have search engines integrated into their site to help their users find the products or videos they need.
Amazon is the world's biggest online store, with millions of products being sold around the world.
While Google Search strives for the most accurate answer to a query, Amazon looks to give the shopper the most likely product they think they need to buy.
Where Google relies on spiders to crawl and look for data, Amazon uses internal data for their own vested interest.
Amazon ensures its customers will always have products that are geared to each customer individually. This is clearly seen when you log into the website, and immediately you're shown products you recently purchased or have on your "wishlist".
How Does Amazon Do This?
Amazon does this by using these four factors:
- How many people have bought the product
- How relevant the product is to the buyer
- Previous purchases the buyer has made
- Information gathered from comments and ratings that have been made by other customers
All of this information is gathered together and used to promote the most popular products on the site.
Again, just like Google, Amazon uses popularity to push products. You can understand ranking results better using these six points:
- The keywords used to lookup the product
- The product, which could be a book is aimed at adult readers
- The product has a lot of high ratings, giving the item social proof
- Buyers have given the product a lot of really high ratings
- The product is affordable
- The product comes from a reputable source
What is the Goal of a Search Engine?
Every search engine wants to accommodate their users.
But every search engine is different.
Find products that meet the buyers demands.
Find the most accurate solution or answer to your problem.
Find the most relevant video.
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