As you’re casually reading this, three billion other beings are searching at least one of the 12 most commonly used search engines from across the globe. Sexy stats, I know. Yet when you truly stop to consider that means on average, at least 63,000 plus human queries are served per second by a singular search engine, it is something of software excellence.
No doubt you’ve assumed by now that search engine is Google, and rightly so with an astonishing two trillion fingertips (give or take a few YouTube famous paws, you’re welcome) searching every year.
To provide the user with the most relevant search results, search engines perform a short amount of crucial tasks – we’ll cover these next – and then retrieve the most useful results from a vast database which store and index more than 20 billion web pages worldwide.
Every engine from Google, to Yandex, DuckDuck Go (by far the most superior search engine name yet) and Bing do this by running automated software such as ‘bots’ or ‘spiders’. These swanky militant search operatives crawl all the webpages they can when requested for the user’s searched keywords, using the hyperlink structure of the web; and that folks, is the quick summary of how a search engine works.
But let’s focus in a bit more and get down to the nitty gritty. Remember that short list of crucial tasks I mentioned? Meet C.I.P.R. or:
The basic components of your typical search engine, and the four essential tasks which are repeatedly performed in a span of mere seconds to serve thousands of billions of searches per day. Entrepreneur and public speaker Marc Ostrofsky explains in Get Rich Click! that ‘of the 20 billion existing pages, search engines have crawled between 8 and 10 billion.’
Indexing and Data in a Jiffy
Picture the internet as–I’m sure you already do–a massive library, something along the grandiose architecture of the British Library if you will, and now picture every search engine thinkable as data-crazed Daleks or Number 5 style robots (see Short Circuit) rambunctiously whizzing around and zapping all information available. Quite a scene.
Except search ‘bots’ and ‘spiders’ scan all content on webpages instead of zapping books, before neatly indexing every new webpage or updating and processing existing links. Each webpage, recognised as a document, is stored by the search engine in an enormous database along with billions of other scanned documents. Simple but clever, and quicker than the end of this sentence you’re reading too. Within fractions of a second, billions of webpages continue to be published and indexed, creating a gigantic data rich trail of human activity and accomplishment. This uncomplicated, systematic and effective information computerisation is the foundation of our thriving and ever evolving digital proliferation.
Then, You Come into The Picture
So, you’ve heard of user queries? In proximation to search engines and the world wide web, you of course are the user querying and the search engine is the frantic chap desperately consulting it’s huge database for all documents with identical terms. Certain larger engines such as Google can manipulate the search results returned to the user by adjusting query results by filters such as date or user rating.
And SEO Snags the Top-Notch Results For Top Spot Rankings
If you’ve ever sat idly in a Math class, watched HBO’s Silicon Valley, developed a website–or just generally paid attention–you’ll know an algorithm is a mathematical equation used for sorting. All search engines have an algorithm. Consider them to search software, what the sorting hat is to Rowling’s Hogwarts. These algorithm’s help rank results by keyword relevancy, allowing the user to obtain the most useful possible information for their query.
4 Tips for making the SEO Bot Your Bestie
Because we know Google uses a set indexing process to sort webpage results, we can tap into what makes the most relevant results so relevant. Understanding and implementing this practise for best return of investment on your website is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. Because we love good websites so much, we thought we’d put together a few pointers to get your site optimised and out there:
1.Provide unique content
Every business has a unique selling point, something that makes its customers return and love your product or service. Whilst you know and they know, do your new customers know? Utilise the uniqueness! Your website competes against billions of other web pages which are also crawled and indexed daily. If the content on your site isn’t original, it’s not going to be near the top of the search engine, so spend some time selling in writing just what makes your service so exceptional.
Think of it this way, relevancy is ranked by how many times a user or a group of users have searched for specific original content. If a large amount of people are searching for content which is on your site but was first published on another web page, your ranking may rise slightly, but it won’t trend in results as highly as the original webpage.
2.Clarity and Conciseness
If you want humans, or even search engine bots to ever visit your site, it’s time to crackdown on complexity. As bots use Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) to search page data and documents, yours better be tidy and easy to read or they could be skipped. Extensive URLs with mixed numbers, punctuation and letters can often be hard to scan, and may attract unwanted harmful virtual attention.
If your site is aiming for professional calibre SEO you may also want to reconsider: having over 100 unique hyperlinks per page; creating pages buried within the site hierarchy (meaning, more than three clicks deep into the site); designing pages split into ‘frames’ as this can cause search engines confusion, more on that here.
3.Get on Trend
Is your website relevant and popular? One or the other won’t do. SEO works on information retrieval science which prioritises both, so your site should to. Get the word out to your loyal customers that you’ve created a new website or page and introduce a discount incentive to direct new customers, family and friends to it.
No physical product? No problem! List a membership package or relevant service to provide, and combine and integrated online-offline marketing campaign to entice site traffic. Remember, relevance + popularity = SEO matrimony.
4.Get Smart with Semantics
Because search engines, fortunately, provide the difficult service of understanding the science of human language (semantics), retrieved results from the indexed database are based not only on the search term input, but also the intellect of the search engine itself and formerly used human colloquialisations.
For example, searching for ‘street food market’ in your local city may also bring up other fresh fruit and veg markets in your city. This delightfully smart process is called semantic data mining and is the result of groups of phases used together on existing indexed pages.
So there you have it, the ins and outs of the vital search engines which connect and document our lives instantaneously – plus a few cheeky tips to get your SEO skills swinging. Don’t forget to let us know which one worked for you!