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How Does It Work?

madscientist.jpgSearch engines usually only have a small bit of criteria that they use to give the most relevant search results to those who are keying in searches. When someone searches for a particular bit of information, Google, or any other search will get any documents that answer- it pulls this from a vast index. If you were to search for something like “cats and kittens”, Google will retrieve roughly 1,850,000 pages and images. How Google works this is, it returns the documents that have cat or kitten in the term- but not and. Along those same lines, Google chose for my search which results were the match for it, but then, took it a step further. Using its own particular algorithm, it then figured out which would be the most relevant to my interest. In the case of a search for “cats and kittens”, it shows “All About Cats”- an About.com site, followed by a link about Cats and Kittens Magazine, a site about cute little kitten pictures, and then a site called “I Love Cats”.

But the question is how? If you read through the explanation as to how the algorithm itself works, it gets a little murky and it’s a very long document. For me, that was an interesting read- but search engine optimization is my passion, for you, it may be something else and most likely is. So, to sort of explain exactly what happens when you key in a search, or conversely, when users key in searched for your business, we break it down a little bit to the basics.

Google and other searches use something called a bot or a spider. Why? Because spiders crawl on webs, and World Wide Web- you get the idea. But the truth of the matter is, if you consider your web site in terms of a web that a physical spider would be crawling on- it makes sense. If you’ve got broken links, the spider can’t go any further, if you’re web’s not branched out and strong- where’s it going to go? It won’t. A search engine spider works best when it’s got clear paths to crawl through, beginning with a very simple and clean site design, a great site map with one link on each page right back to it, you’ve got the best start. If you have loads of URLs that have far too many variable strings- the spider sort of gets stuck there and that’s it. So, building an awesome site is priority one, because this makes it easy for a search engine spider to work its way through ALL of your site, indexing relevant content and giving you a little bit of a boost. Frames, session Ids, submits that are too deep, these are other possible hindrances, but also, pages with drop down menus to access other pages of the site, purposefully blocked content, pages you have to log into, are also problematic. If you’ve got something that re-directs before the content is displayed, you may even get banned.