SEO or “Search Engine Optimization” is basically a method or practice of improving the rankings of your articles or products on search engines there by increase the number of visitors to your website. This can also be said as free, organic or natural traffic to your listings on search engine. All the search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc show up the results on their first page which is most relevant to what the user searches for.
Why do we need SEO?
One can get traffic to your website from various sources like Social Media, Youtube etc., but the traffic from those sources is limited to some extent. But when you are able to rank on top of Google or may be the first page, the traffic you can is unlimited because search engines is the best place where people search what they want.
The traffic, from other sources, is also limited to the type of content, services or products you are trying to target. But when you go with SEO, you can generate maximum visits from it as these are targeted visitors to your site. As a blogger, you also needs to target the right keywords or search queries so as to attain targeted audience to your website which can provide publicity, revenue and exposure in the best way possible.
So by now you might have understood why SEO is so important to any website or blog. Sometimes with no proper SEO, even the most intelligent search engines will be unable to know or index your website which would be a disaster for you. This again proves that without SEO even search engines may be restricted from knowing that your site ever existed.
Now since you know what SEO is, let me make you aware of how search engine works and what impact SEO has on search engine rankings.
How Search Engine Works?
Before learning SEO or anything related to it, search enginesyou must be aware of how actually these search engines work. Search engines are the primary source of traffic to your website, so having knowledge on how they work will enable you to understand SEO better and faster. Out of all the search engines currently Google is the best and the most popular search engine.
Search Engines basically have 3 major functions:
- Crawling and Indexing.
- Algorithms to calculate and get best results.
- Fighting Spam.
Crawling and building an Index
In order to rank something, Google first has to know the existence of it. So search engines need a way to find all the trillions of webpages available. This is called “crawling” which is done by Google crawlers or spiders.Google-indexing these spiders fetch all the content available on webpages and also follow all the links present on it. They keep following every link present on the web and there by fetches everything. This is the most wonderful thing about crawlers, they go after everything on web. But this might be harmful when you want to preserve data or privatize pages on web, so you can also sometimes restrict the spider to enter into some page or private zone informing the spiders not to index some page or category. To do this, you again need a little knowledge about SEO.
As the crawlers fetch the web, they have to store the data somewhere. Search engines are so intelligent that they will sort the webpages and store the millions of gigabytes of data or information in the Index. This is called as “indexing”.
Algorithms for better search results
Search engines are nothing but answering machines, they need to answer all the queries of the user. In order to find the right answer to the queries put up, there has to be a working process which will enable the most relevant result to be displayed at the top. For this all the search engines have specific algorithms consisting of many formulas and programs which have the ability to decide and display the most appropriate result possible.
Whenever you type something in the search box, algorithms the algorithms start functioning in a way to find various clues to understand what you actually mean.
- Spell Correction
- Auto Complete
- Synonyms Finder
- Google Instant
- Query Understanding
- Search Methods
These are the various algorithms which will enable the search engines understand the query, and based on these clues it pulls out relevant content from the index.
Finding the appropriate content is one step but ranking those is the next step. Ranking of these results is done by taking more than 200 factors into consideration. Few of those factors are site and page quality, freshness, uniqueness, keyword density, etc.
All this happens in just 1/8th of a second and the results are displayed in various forms like video, images, knowledge graph, snippets, news etc.
There are many people manipulating Google algorithms and trying to rank on the first page to drive more traffic to their website even if it doesn’t satisfy all the Google ranking factors. This is nothing but spamming. Many new types of spamming techniques are constantly evolving everyday and Google Anti-spam community fight continuously to prevent spam and thereby keeping results relevant and genuine.
The majority of spam is removed by various algorithms, like Google Panda, Penguin etc. which automatically remove spam content. Also manual action is taken sometimes where special attention is given to remove the spam.
Whenever a website is decided to be spam, then the owner will first be notified about the problem. If he/she responds and rectify the issue, he/she can again let Google know that the issue is fixed.
Before reading this article you have just used search engine to check for some query and got satisfied with the results in just a matter of seconds, but now you know what SEO actually is, how search engines work, how SEO makes improves rankings in search engines and how fast the search engine shows results even with the complex structure behind it which decides the rankings and provides awesome results for over a billion searches every month.