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Search Engine Basics
Search engines aredesigned to discover, index, and deliver targeted results to their end users through the useof complex algorithms.Theydiscover sites bycrawling them and index and deliver through complexalgorithms.
Search engines, such asGoogle, usespiders to crawl asite. Googlecalls theirs GoogleBot.Essentially, aspider’s purposeis to read textand follow links.If apagehasno readabletext, i.e.an imagewithout or aless than helpful “alt”attribute, spiders can’t index it properly. Thesame is trueof links that aren’tcreated through HTML, such as thoseon Flash-created pages. Spider’salso relyon relevant, well formed text and links. Using heading unnecessarilyand“Click here” links areunhelpful to machines, which don’t readcontext.
Afterasitehas beencrawled, it must beindexed. Thealgorithms used to index sites are incrediblycomplex and technical. Certain guidelines andtechniques need to be followed to have sites indexed properly. Black Hat methods suchas keyword stuffing, and trying to relateasiteto something it isn’t to “steal” searches, werepopular and effectivein theearlydays of theweb, butusing those strategies now can getasitebannedfrom themajorsearch engines. WhiteHat methods, which evolve as the searchengine algorithms change, involveusing morehonestapproaches to promote pages. Some factors forGoogle’s algorithms include, but arebyno meanslimited to, keyword placement, popularityor howmanyviews/links apagehas, andURLstructure.Lately,Googlehas launchedGooglePanda, which also “scores”pages based ongrammar and spelling.