A Search Engine is not an engine in the normal sense, but it is actually a software program that searches websites, documents, images, and even videos for specific keywords. It returns a list of results where the keyword or search term you typed were found. A Search Engine is actually a system, the system which is made up of the hardware and software components of a computer. Google and Yahoo are considered systems because they are computers with software running on them. Search Engines are very complex and the search algorithms are updated continuously.
Search Engines use computer robot programs called spiders to gather and store the information you’re searching. Spiders find the pages and then pass the information on to another program for indexing. The spider identifies the data and then stores it in the search engines database. The spiders crawl the web and find information about content by following other links that have previously been crawled. This is why it’s important to have links to useful content on your website, and also have other website link back to you. This process of linking is called reciprical links, or back linking. If you launch a website, but never link to other pages, your site will more than likely not be found by the spiders. If your page has fresh content on it, then the spiders will find you eventually, although it takes more work and you have to manually submit the new Uniform Resource Locator to the search engines indexing program.
A URL is the Uniform Resource Locator for a website. It can also be referred to as a domain name. Domains with rich keywords that get searched a lot have a better chance at success in the search engines. The URL for Google is google.com, and Microsoft has live.com. One popular search engine, Ask Jeeves, has recently changed there name to Ask.com. Shorter domains have more brand power and have sold for millions of dollars on the open domain market. Short, three or four letter domains are very rare and are owned may major players in the online world.
Search Engines have become a very important aspect of commerce online. Companies use eCommerce or online commerce to support and supplement their traditional “Brick and Mortar” locations. Search Engines are used to find specific products that consumers are looking to buy online. Having your website come up in the search listings and providing that customer with the product or information they are searching for is key. People are paying top dollar to be ranked at the top of the search engines.
Keywords are the terms that you type in the search engine. If it matches the content that the search engine has stored in the database, the results are returned. Short keywords like “Car” will return millions of results. To find more specific, targeted results you can use long tail keywords. For instance if you were searching cars, you might want to include the brand name or city you want to buy it from. This will return more specific search results for your specific need. Google offers advertising where you can bid on specific keywords. This is type of advertising is called Pay Per Click Advertising. When those terms are searched, your ad shows up and you pay every time someone clicks your ad. PPC is a very popular form of advertising in Search Engines. Keyword research tools help with finding the specific terms that people are searching. They also tell you the average monthly volume for a specific keyword, and the amount of competition there is for that word as well. Click Through Rate is the average percentage of clicks vs the average times your ad was actually viewed. Ad copy and verbage play a very important role as to how effective your Search Engine advertisements are.
Ranking in a search engine is also very important. This is refered to as the rank or position of the results returned by the Search Engine. When you enter a term or keyword in Google for instance, the most relevant results appear first. Ranking high in the search engines is a science in itself and high ranks mean big money for businesses.
If you can rank consistantly on the first page of the results, your almost guaranteed success. The Search Engines use a variety of criteria that the websites and other data types must meet in order to rank high in the given Search Engine for given term.
Social marketing is also another way to get ranked. Search Engines love websites like MySpace.com, YouTube.com, and Digg.com because they always have fresh content to be indexed and have a multitude of links to follow. Every time someone submits a new article or blog posting, the spiders are there to index it. This is why social profiles are generally indexed in the Search Engines even before a site that just launched.
I know that Search Engines play a vital role in everyday life. I use them to study, work and play. I have made studying and mastering Search Engines a daily journey, constantly learning new things about how they function and how to get top rankings.
Jacob L. Hodgson A3 W2: Definition Essay