Search Engine 101

Frequent users of the internet frequently encounter the term search engine. Most use it to seek information on a subject.  Some businesses make use of different search engines to make their businesses more visible especially in the cyber world. But what exactly is a search engine?

A search engine’s database may include millions, if not billions of websites. Search engine companies have developed programs that will help search engines provide better and more optimized results which would make it easier for users to sift through both necessary and unnecessary information.

In looking for the data needed, a user types a search query which includes a keyword or catchphrase. The user enters it into the search form of the search engine. A program designed to analyze the search query looks for the information which pertain to the keyword or catchphrase in the search engine’s webpage database.

Relevance of information is key to prominence of the webpage on the search engine. Each word is analyzed by the special program until it can determine its significance to the search. Results which yield the exact phrase in the search query are perceived to be more relevant than, for example, results which yield only one of the two words which appeared in the search query.

The search engine reads the website using HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML is a coding language which encloses a plain text file containing the copy of your web page and also instructions for the web browser to format.

The frequency of keyword usage in the page is also seen as important in deciding whether a webpage must be put foremost as another. A webpage which displays the keywords more times than another is decidedly going to rank much higher in the search engine listing that one which displays much less. However, too many keywords, sometimes called overstuffing the webpage, may also be detrimental as it may turn off potential clients.

Each webpage is also given points depending on where the keyword is located on the webpage. The title tag is the most important part of the webpage. It gives the user an overview of the copy of the page. The description tag, on the other hand, usually in sentence form, gives a brief summary of the contents of the page. Popularity of the webpage is also key to determining its relevance. Link building is essential to increasing your website’s popularity. Users may be directed to your website through other websites or blogs, therefore increasing your popularity. This, in turn, translates into higher relevance in web searches.

Similar to search engines are search directories which are produced by human beings which visit and personally consider websites for inclusion in the search listings. Entirely different techniques are needed in order to get listed on these search directories.

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