Would you believe me if I were to tell you that there are really only a few search engines that you need to consider in your SEO planning. While each search engine appears to be a unique company with its own unique service, and when you choose to run a search using Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any of the others, you might think you have made a choice between competing services and expect to get varying results – You would be surprised to find out that under the surface, these seeming competitors are often actually working together — at least on the data level!
Each search engine obviously cannot try to ‘organize’ the trillions of web pages that exist, multiplying and morphing each minute. Instead, the different search engines share the wealth when it comes to indexed data, much like a community.
There are the suppliers and the receivers - only Google and Bing — are suppliers. They actually gather and provide search results data, both organic and paid. Ask.com maintains its own organic data but receives paid listings from Google. Yahoo, on the other hand, receives its organic data but generates its own paid ads. So when you do a search on Yahoo, for instance, the order of the results is determined by Yahoo, but the indexed results are supplied by Bing! The story goes on…..
Gathering the data is the first step. An automated process (known as spidering) constantly crawls the Internet, gathering web‐page data into servers. Google calls its spider Googlebot; you could refer to the data‐gathering software processes as spiders, robots, bots, or crawlers, but they’re all the same thing. Whatever you call them, they pull in masses of raw data and do so repeatedly. This is why changes to your website might be seen within a day or might take up to a few weeks to be reflected in search engine results.
In the second step, search engines have to index the data to make it usable. Indexing is the process of taking the raw data and categorizing it, removing duplicate information, and generally organizing it all into an accessible structure.
For each query performed by a user, the search engines apply an algorithm — basically a math equation (formula) that weighs various criteria about a web page and generates a ranking result — to decide which listings to display and in what order. The algorithms might be fairly simple or multilayered and complex.
At industry conferences, Google representatives say that their algorithm analyzes more than 200 variables to determine a web page’s search ranking to a given query. Google won’t say exactly which are these (and neither will the other engines), and that’s what makes SEO a challenge. But we can make educated guesses!
I sincerely hope you will find this information helpful in re-understanding the basics and thinking from first principles on how to making your website the online Centre-Of-Gravity of your business! For more such information on SEO, social media hacks, and about optimizing your online business in general, do visit our Facebook and LinkedIn social media pages and our website www.eyecatchers.co.