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Web Design, Search Engine Optimisation & Online Advertising

How Do Search Engines Work?

Search engines use advanced algorithms to help Internet users find what they are looking for on the web. By capturing all of the information on the web they can run fast, efficient searches and deliver the content you require almost immediately.

Computers programs called robots (or spiders) trawl through the web finding new website as they go by following links from other pages. The speed and frequency at which new pages are indexed varies from one search engine to the next, with some working their way through the Internet every day or two, and others only performing a periodic update once every week or month.

Once they have gathered all of the information they have the monumental task of categorising each webpage and arranging them in order of how relevant they are to the keywords being searched.

Try to think of Google (and all other search engines) as a big library and each website in that library is a book. Once all of the books have been placed in the library Google then needs to decide what category to put each book into. The content on your web page in form of written text, headings, links, images and so on will instruct Google on what category it should be placed in. For example if all of the content on your web page is about Web Design Google will put your book in the Web Design section of the library.

So now that Google has put each book neatly onto the shelves it needs to look at each category and place the books in order, the most important ones at the top and least important ones at the bottom. Here the quality of the content on your page becomes even more important. It takes note of how many times each word appears on the page, how frequent they are and whether they appear at the top, middle or bottom of the page and decides how relevant each keyword is to the theme of the site.

The next concept Google uses to arrange the books in order of importance, and perhaps the most significant one, is how relevant (or popular) they are. To do this Google looks at how many external links are pointing to your site from other websites. By treating each link as a vote Google can then see how popular your site is by how many votes it has.

So the more votes the more popular and therefore more relevant your site is right? Wrong, If only it was that easy! Not all links (or votes) carry the same value, a link from a site about web design to another site about web design will be held in very high regard, whereas a link from a site about sports entertainment to a site about web design will not carry very much weight at all.

By collating all of the on-site information and tallying up the votes to see how popular they are Google can now arrange the books in order of importance. The highly higher up the shelf you book is stored the more likely you will be found when someone is searching for your services on the web.

Pro Evolve, 48 Salisbury Road, Plymouth. PL4 8QU
Tel: 01752 898 623
Email: info@pro-evolve.co.uk

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