“A website without traffic is like a billboard in the desert.
If people don’t see it, it’s not doing its job”
For People to See Your Website, Search Engines Need to Find It
Major Search Engines
How Search Engines Work
People that need information turn to a search engine to find answers. So, how does the search engine display thousands of websites that are related to what you are looking for?
Understanding how search engines work is critical to your web marketing campaigns. Use keywords to your advantage to help draw more qualified visitors to your site. There are over 1 billion websites on the internet. So how do websites account for all these sites including their pages and content?
Crawling & Indexing
Search engines perform two functions: crawling and indexing. This is how search engines gather information that end up on the SERP (Search engine results page.) By the way, only publicly available pages are crawled.
Search Engine Crawlers:
• Google: Googlebot
• Bing: Bingbot
• Yahoo: Slurp
• AOL: interesting fact, as of January 2016, AOL’s search is powered by Bing. Previously it used Google.
Crawlers find domains and sites then “crawl” pages by going from page to page (link to link) “indexing” all kinds of information. Each search engine crawler indexes at different times and rates paying particular attention to new sites and changes to existing ones.
How Search Engines Crawl Websites
Think of search engines as tourists with only a road map to explore the area. The map is the only reliable source of information about attractions in the country. the internet functions as the map, and websites are like the attractions. Search engines send crawlers through every website online. Crawlers are small programs that identify and report web page components. They gather data about the websites and index the information under separate categories and keywords, creating a list of sites that meet the query’s criteria.
How Websites Are Indexed
Search engines use their own, proprietary algorithms to index sites. While some engines prefer sites with a lot of backlinks, others prefer older domains, and some prioritize social linking and related activities. Search engines regularly change their algorithms to keep up with searcher’s demands and user feedback to provide better results than their competitors.
TIP: It’s important to allow – even- help search engines easily crawl your website. It can mean the difference between higher and lower SERP rankings. Site structure will be key and luckily, search engines like Google and Bing provide site owners a few options to help them crawl your website: sitemaps and a file called “robots.txt.”
A sitemap is a list of available pages crawlers love to use. they enable search engines to easily index pages that point back to a site so searchers can find them. Sitemaps make it easier to crawl websites and pages, so they need to be search engine-friendly. The second method to help search engines crawl your site is using a file Robots.txt. This document promotes stronger search engine optimization opportunities and lets site owners give instructions to search engine crawlers. They can direct how process individual pages or even notify Google and Bing which pages should not be crawled (and indexed.)
Search Engine Algorithms
“You want the answer, not trillions of webpages. Algorithms are computer programs that look for clues to give you back exactly what you want.”
Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., use different algorithms to help determine which sites are the best matches for a search query. Some measure a site’s popularity, the amount of time people spend on a site, or content quality and site authority. Each of these factors gives search engines a full-spectrum view into how valuable your website content is and how relevant it is to a user’s search query. Google has a few, well-known algorithms with quirky names like Google Panda, Hummingbird, Pidgeon, Pirate, Payday, TopHeavy and more. Each algorithm serves a particular purpose. Some algorithms like Panda and Hummingbird focus on content quality while others like PayDay concentrates on cleaning up search results for traditionally “spammy” searches (think, “payday loan,” “credit loan” and other spammed keywords). Several other factors go into these algorithms, and search engine technicians and engineers are always updating and tweaking them to improve the quality of the results.
If you’re interested in Google’s algorithm change history, Moz SEO does an excellent job tracking google’s algorithm updates by year including any new recent ones. Most search engines follow the general search parameters of the most popular search engine, Google, but it’s important to be aware of each engines algorithms.
Improving Search Rankings
Search engines value websites that have the features their algorithms prioritize. Sites with strong backlink quality, social interactions, and content quality rank well on SERPs. “Quality” can be vague so here are a few quality attributes content-based algorithms to look for:
• Original, high-quality, useful and compelling content (copy, visuals, media, documents/files, etc.)
• At least 500 words and contains (intelligently used) keywords or phrases
• Written for human readers first, not for search engines (over-optimized and keyword stuffed)
• Trendy, newsworthy and highly informative
• Human interest stories that inform or teach
• Press releases that encompass the above
TIP1: Over-optimized pages – those that are designed specifically for rankings and not for readers – actually have problems ranking well, so you need to write the majority of your content for people and not for Google, Bing or Yahoo. Additionally, search engines want to return the most current and up-to-date information to users, so their algorithms look for updated pages with fresh content.
TIP 2: Google’s Panda and Penguin updates changed search engine optimization (SEO) by adding social signals to their algorithm. the more social activity, the better. Supporting information with social links (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc,) can help a page rank higher.
The key to high rankings is to give the search engines exactly what they want. Include compelling content that captures readers’ attention so they’ll stay on your site. Make sure that the content you present is peppered with social linking so that people can share it. Focus on fresh, newsworthy and trendy information, and you’ll be well on your way to higher rankings.
Article by June Parent
How Search Works...
How to get on Google’s results page…
There are only 2 ways:
1. You Pay Google for Advertising (AdWords)
2. You Do Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. It increases the amount of visitors to a website by getting a high-ranking placement in the search engine results page (SERP.)
If search engines can’t find your site or add your content to their databases, you miss out on incredible opportunities to drive traffic to your site.
The keywords have extraordinary value, and search engine traffic can make or break an organization’s success, it provides publicity, revenue, and exposure like no other channel of marketing. Investing in SEO can have an exceptional rate of return compared to other types of marketing and promotion. SEO helps boost your ranking and ensures that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the three main search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo.
On-page Optimization refers to all measures that can be taken directly within the website in order to improve its position in the search rankings.
At Vega Digital we offer a package that includes:
• Sitemap Creation
• Sitemap Submission to Google / Bing
• Title / Description and Keyword Checking & Generation
• Google Analytics Installation
• Alexa Installation for Tracking
• 404 Error Checking (page not found)
• URL Optimization
Off-page optimization refers to all measures that can be taken outside of the actual website in order to improve its position in search rankings. It is important to know that you must do your on-page optimization before you do off-page optimization.
Some of the tasks you must do to perform off-page optimization include the following: Community creation in social networking sites, blogging, forum postings, search engine submission, directory submission, social bookmarking, link exchange, link baiting, cross-linking, photo sharing, video promotions, business reviews, local listings and yellow pages, article submission, classifieds submission, document sharing, etc.