How Internet Search Works

There are two sides to the digital treasure hunt: search on the one side and the website on the other. A potential site visitor may type in a phrase, but that doesn’t mean they’ll find your site until Google, Yahoo, or Bing has crawled or scanned the site. Just like an MRI scan of your body to find what’s inside, all the major search engines daily scan websites to also find what’s inside. If the site is setup properly, the search engine indexes (organizes) the site content and saves it into its database. So, the next time you search, the better the chance your site will show up in a relevant quest to find information.

Simply put, it’s a long distance, digital database. The blinking cursor in the Google search bar acts as your database terminal. All the websites that have been scanned or “crawled” are indexed and organized by keywords and phrases, or content. Or, think of your local public library. Find the terminal, type in a topic, and the library database tells you where the book or information piece exists in the library.

The search engine does three things: 1) Crawls or scans websites. 2) Indexes or organizes the content. 3) Creates a SERP page (Search Engine Results Page).

Search is the conversation going on inside the head of the person looking for information. The consumer needs either a product or information or both. They type in the first term or phrase that comes to mind and then they hit enter. At that point it’s the search engine’s job to locate the best match. If you remember one thing, remember this: a friendly website makes a friendly search engine. If your website applies the basic best practices of organic SEO, Google becomes very happy. If you site tries to take shortcuts, Google is not happy.

By Stuart Atkins

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