Search Engine Basics

written by Marcus Maertens
8 · 12 · 20

What are the search engine basics you need to know? When the internet started there weren’t many sites. These were either directly accessed by knowing the address or by links between sites. Search engines came later. Google wasn’t the first search engine, but they were the first to use links as a signal of authority and trust.

Map of City with a Green DotVisualising the Internet
Greg Gifford has a great analogy to help understand the internet. Think of it like a city. Your website is the house within which there are rooms (pages) interconnected by hallways and stairs (links). Your house is within a neighborhood (other websites) that are linked together by roads (links). Add more homes and you end up with a city. He uses a large office on a popular intersection as an analogy of a popular website that everyone can see and is easy to reach by multiple roads (links).

Your New Site
So you set up your new site on a new patch of land with only basic service connections (your server) and one dirt track leading to it. The job now starts of persuading the local city and all those other inhabitants to make new roads to your shiny new office (links) and encourage visitors to travel to see you (click those links).

How do you start your new site in a better part of town?
If you’re connected to an existing company or site then you’ve instantly got some roads leading to you. If you set up an ebay or Amazon shop then you’re on prime real estate (but will pay for it). Most people though are setting up on new land and they need help to connect the roads so people can find them.

How does Google work?
Google like other search engines, uses spiders to crawl the web. A spider goes to your web page and then “crawls” around the page discovering the content and links to other pages. It sends all this information back to Google which it stores in it’s index. When someone searches for something, they’re actually searching Google’s index.

So how do I get my site listed on Google?
Normally you don’t need to do anything. Google is constantly crawling the web looking for new content do display on it’s SERPs (Search engine results pages). Make sure your website is well designed and crawl friendly and server is open to Google indexing and you should be added in a few days.

How do I get ranked highly on Google?
This is where Google’s algorithms kick in. There are 100s of ranking factors that determine position, some of which are known and some not. In essence, Google is attempting the best possible match of search request and content, so if you’re trying to knock others off the top spot, is your content a better match? SEO in essence is optimizing your site contents to display to Google what a great fit you are for any of the multiple queries someone could ask about information for related to your business.

Want to learn more? How Google Search Works

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Digital Bento is a full service digital agency with over 14 years experience in all things web. Whatever the size of your project we can help.

Marcus Maertens

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