What does a search engine like Google do?

You must understand what search engines do before you can start optimizing your site.

Thus, let’s first explain how search engines find your site and explain SEO.


Search engine – terminology

We often say ‘Google’ when we refer to a search engine, but, there are many other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo.  However, Google dominates the market share at the present time.


What does Google do?
How does Google rank my site?

Search engines follow links (i.e. links on a website that take you to another website).

A search engine consists of 3 main parts: a crawler, an index and an algorithm.

A crawler looks at links on websites and follows them. It ‘crawls’ various websites on the internet constantly and saves a copy of the page in a big database.  This database is updated each time the crawler comes to your website and finds new info.  How often your site is crawled depends on the amount of traffic your site receives and how frequently you change the content on your website (i.e. generally more traffic and changes = more visits by Google).


Google’s algorithm

Once Google indexes your site, it can appear in the search results. How high it appears in search results depends on a complex Google algorithm.  This algorithm is a secret, but a good SEO firm like The Optimacy Group will have a good feel for the most important traits that affect rankings.


Google’s results page

Google’s first page of search results usually has 7 to 10 of the best matches for your search terms.   These are referred to as organic search results.

Above these links you will also fine a few results with the word “ad” next to them.  These are paid links where people pay Google to put their links at the top.  Prices depend on numerous factors and are “auctioned” off at various prices depending on their value. (Similar ads may appear on the right or bottom of the search results pages as well.)


The value of links for SEO

Basically, Google analyzes the number and quality of links to a page in order to determine how high it should rank.

Both internal links (from the own website) as well as external links (from other websites) can help in ranking a website on Google.

Obviously, quality is more important than quantity, so it’s important to get links from site that Google already deems an “authority” in your area.  For example, a link from a institution like Stanford university to your website will carry much more weight with Google than just a mention on a personal blog with no traffic.


Summary of SEO Basics

While this is a breif synopsis of SEO basics, there are many more complex features and strategies to explain.  Please note that even the most detailed guide won’t be optimize for each particular situation.  Thus, your best bet is to contact us immediately for personal consultation of how SEO can elevate your marketing results to new levels!