How Do Search Engines Work – Web Crawlers
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It is the search engines that finally bring your website to the notice of the prospective customers. Hence it is better to know how these search engines actually work and how they present information to the customer initiating a search.
There are basically two types of search engines. The first is by robots called crawlers or spiders.
Search Engines use spiders to index websites. When you submit your website pages to a search engine by completing their required submission page, the search engine spider will index your entire site. A ‘spider’ is an automated program that is run by the search engine system. Spider visits a web site, read the content on the actual site, the site’s Meta tags and also follow the links that the site connects. The spider then returns all that information back to a central depository, where the data is indexed. It will visit each link you have on your website and index those sites as well. Some spiders will only index a certain number of pages on your site, so don’t create a site with 500 pages!
Also see: Understanding On Page SEO
The spider will periodically return to the sites to check for any information that has changed. The frequency with which this happens is determined by the moderators of the search engine.
A spider is almost like a book where it contains the table of contents, the actual content and the links and references for all the websites it finds during its search, and it may index up to a million pages a day.
Example: Excite, Lycos, AltaVista and Google.
When you ask a search engine to locate information, it is actually searching through the index which it has created and not actually searching the Web. Different search engines produce different rankings because not every search engine uses the same algorithm to search through the indices.
One of the things that a search engine algorithm scans for is the frequency and location of keywords on a web page, but it can also detect artificial keyword stuffing or spamdexing. Then the algorithms analyze the way that pages link to other pages in the Web. By checking how pages link to each other, an engine can both determine what a page is about, if the keywords of the linked pages are similar to the keywords on the original page.
Importance of Search Engines
It is the search engines that finally bring your website to the notice of the prospective customers.
When a topic is typed for search, nearly instantly, the search engine will sift through the millions of pages it has indexed about and present you with ones that match your topic. The searched matches are also ranked, so that the most relevant ones come first.
Remember that a prospective customer will probably only look at the first 2-3 listings in the search results. So it does matter where your website appears in the search engine ranking.
Further, they all use one of the top 6-7 search engines and these search engines attract more visitors to websites than anything else. So finally it all depends on which search engines the customers use and how they rank your site.
It is the Keywords that play an important role than any expensive online or offline advertising of your website.
It is found by surveys that a when customers want to find a website for information or to buy a product or service, they find their site in one of the following ways:
• The first option is they find their site through a search engine.
• Secondly they find their site by clicking on a link from another website or page that relates to the topic in which they are interested.
• Occasionally, they find a site by hearing about it from a friend or reading in an article.
Thus it’s obvious the the most popular way to find a site, by search engine, represents more than 90% of online users. In other words, only 10% of the people looking for a website will use methods other than search engines.
All search engines employ a ranking algorithm and one of the main rules in a ranking algorithm is to check the location and frequency of keywords on a web page. Don’t forget that algorithms also give weightage to link population (number of web pages linking to your site).
When performed by a qualified, experienced search engine optimization consultant, your site for high search engine rankings really does work, unless you have a lot of money and can afford to pay the expert. With better knowledge of search engines and how they work, you can also do it on your own.
Submitting Your Website to Search Engines
If you have a web-based business or if a significant portion of your business is done on the web through your website, then the best advertising and marketing is done by submitting to a search engine. No amount of press release, newspaper or radio ad, banner ad, spam email or newsletter will achieve the same results, although, maybe effective in a small proportion.
Beware of companies that promise automatic submission of your website to hundreds of search engines which are but only false promises. The best way to submit your website for search engine ranking and inclusion is to do it yourself or to hire an expert to do it manually, by contacting the search engine companies and directories.
Before you begin to submit your website to search engines ensure your websites are thoroughly designed to the professional quality using the right key words, good graphics and pictures and the relevant content. Don’t submit websites that are incomplete. While submitting to a search engine, make sure to provide information about your website, keywords and any other information that may be pertinent, including the name and contact information of your business.
Mere submission to search engine companies does not guarantee that your site would be immediately listed and the ranking will be high. Because there are thousands of new websites coming up every day and it may take quite sometime before they take up your site for review by human editors. One important factor to remember while submitting site is to include a site map of your website which makes the crawling easy for the web robots. Search engines like google hardly considers submissions without sitemaps.
There are many online companies that accept search engine submission services. You can choose to do it yourself with a software package such as Dogpile
Don’t use the automatic submission services.
Here is a list of the most popular Search Engines and directory companies:
- Search Engines:
AOL Search Inktomi
Lycos Open Directory
Apart from the above there are thousands of search engines and directory companies, where you can submit your website to as many companies as possible. The following links gives info on other search engines and directories:
I believe right now on this post you’ve been able know how search engines work generally, how to submit your website or blog to search engines etc.
Is there anything you did not understand in this article? Let me know via your comments and also feel free to contribute.
One more thing;
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