Search Engine Basics for the Online Business Owner
Every online business owner benefits from
understanding the basics of search engine results. Search engines such
as Google, Yahoo, Windows Live Search and Ask are services that index
the millions of pages of information on the Internet and categorize
them according to topics. This allows a search engine to recall
relevant information when a user types a search phrase into the search
box. The search engine displays the results of the search in numbered
order, with the most relevant pages listed first. This is called the
Search Engine Results Page or SERP.
Search Engine Indexing
The Internet is an ever-changing structure of information, with
millions of pages of information added or changed every day. The
process of indexing such a structure is too tedious and complex to be
performed by people. Each search engine creates its own program that
continually scans the Internet and compiles an index of the information
found. These programs are often called spiders, web crawlers or robots.
Each search engine spider follows a complex series of algorithms
created by the search engine programmers. The search engine formulates
these algorithms to ensure that a spider indexes information in a
meaningful way. For instance, when a user types "diabetes" into a
search box, the returned information should discuss the diagnosis,
treatment, causes and research pertaining to diabetes--it should not
discuss women's fashions. This is called indexing by relevance.
How Indexing Occurs
Google, the world's most popular search engine, uses spiders to crawl
the entire known Internet once every 28 days. It follows special links
from one website to another and searches its own database of listed
websites, hunting for new information. Google creates its own database
of information that contains a copy of every page of information it
crawls and presents this information to the user in the form of a
cached search result. Users have the option of viewing this saved
version of a website or seeing the most current version of a site by
visiting the selected website's server.
Recent theories suggest that it is not necessary to submit your website
manually to each search engine's database. In fact, it is better to let
a search engine find your website through links from popular websites
or those with similar content to your own.
Why Are SERPs Important?
Because businesses that rank highest on a SERP are likely to get more
traffic, these top 10 spots for any given topic are very desirable. A
process called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, helps website owners
structure their information in a way that is search engine-friendly,
which in turn increases their relevance for a given topic and boosts
their website's ranking on a SERP.
Search Engine Optimization
Because search engines perpetually use newly-created algorithms, SEO
has become a complex and evolving process. Many website owners resort
to any tactics available to gain an edge over the competition, even
deceiving visitors and spiders when possible. They attempt to gain
higher SERP rankings without providing relevant information, or they
try to improve their rankings by stuffing their websites full of search
terms. For this reason, the algorithms of a search engine have built-in
systems to weed out these dishonest tactics and present only relevant
search results to the user. Search engines constantly alter their
algorithms, and these changes are closely guarded secrets.
Search Engine Competition
Each search engine competes with other search engines for users, just
as online businesses compete with each other for customers. This
creates a fierce rivalry to provide better results and services for
users as they surf the Internet. As a result, various search engines
may display the SERP for a given search term, or keyword, in a
different order. A website may rank #1 on Google for the term "Internet
consultant," but rank #5 for the same term on Yahoo and #30 on Windows
Live Search. SEO can often correct this inconsistency.
Search engine optimization is a highly competitive and profitable
industry. Online business owners who understand search engine basics
are better prepared to position their websites for increased profits.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/ecommerce-articles/
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