What is search engine optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the amount, quality, and accessibility of relevant content on a website to enhance its ranking in the organic search results of a search engine. The goal of SEO is to achieve top placement in organic search engine results for phrases that describe the business' products or services. This requires an understanding of how search engines work and what people are searching for.
SEO takes time; it's not a quick fix or a magic bullet but with good strategy and perseverance, you can see an increase in organic traffic over time.
The low-hanging fruit of SEO is pretty simple: if you want to rank higher on Google, make sure your title tag is descriptive and relevant to what we're talking about here (in this case "How Does Search Engine Optimization Work?"). You also need some meta tags like description, keywords, and tags that help describe why someone should click on this page rather than another one out there ("keyword research").
What is a search engine crawler?
A crawler is a software program that search engine spiders use to find and index web pages. They are also known as bots, spiders, or robots. Crawlers work differently for each search engine and generally fall into one of two categories:
- Passive crawlers (also called spidering) follow links from page to page, collecting information about any site they visit in the process. This method works best when searching websites with few deep pages, those that have been updated recently, and those with mostly text on them (e.g., blogs).
- Active crawlers test different ways to access pages by using more complex algorithms than passive ones do. Active crawling will allow you to access sites that aren't linked externally and might not be found using passive methods alone because they're more likely than their competitors not only attract but retain customers
How does a search engine do its crawling?
A spider is a software program that crawls through a website and records the content. The spider then sends the information back to the search engine, which uses it to build its database.
Search engines use robots or spiders to crawl through website pages looking for links and other components of a page. A robot can be anything from an actual physical robot on wheels that roams around your office, or just another computer like yours that’s connected to the Internet and programmed with instructions on how to access specific websites or servers in order to accomplish some goal (such as indexing all of Google’s pages).
When a search engine bot lands on your site, it looks at all its content—your home page, product pages, blog articles—and starts collecting them into its index based on certain criteria such as keywords associated with each page's title tag (if any), meta description text (if any) and body copy text. This process is called indexing; once indexed by Google's bots (or any other major player), your site will appear amongst those results when users conduct searches using keywords related directly or indirectly between those two topics discussed earlier: SEO vs PPC advertising!
How does the search engine build an index?
Search engines crawl the web using robots, which are software programs that follow links and index pages. The crawlers use a variety of tools to find and index content, including:
- Web spiders—web crawlers that follow links on a page and then go through subsequent pages in search of more links.
- Robots—another name for web crawlers. It can also mean any device or program (like a Roomba) designed to perform automatic tasks such as vacuuming your floor or washing dishes by itself without human intervention.
The crawlers use a variety of tools to process queries:
- Natural language processing—the ability of a machine to understand human speech (or other languages). For example, if you ask Google Assistant “what is the weather today?” it will respond with an answer based on what it thinks you mean rather than just searching for something like “weather today” in its database of results from previous searches made by users who asked similar questions like yours before you did so yourself! This method is known as machine learning because computers have now been programmed with algorithms that enable them to accomplish certain tasks better than humans could ever do them manually (i.e., without automation). You might wonder why this would be useful for search engines. Because humans aren't perfect; people make mistakes when typing words into their keyboards sometimes which can lead to some queries being submitted incorrectly even though they were meant properly at first glance!
How does a search engine process query to display web pages?
The process of determining the relevance of a web page to a given user query is complex and multifaceted. A search engine's algorithm must examine both the content of the page and its surrounding context, as well as its position in relation to other pages on the search engine's results page.
In order to understand how best to optimize your website for SEO, you will need an understanding of this process. In this section, we'll go into detail about how exactly Google processes your site and ranks content within it based on user queries.
The first step in the process is a user query. Google will use this to determine what your website is about and how it can help people find the information they're looking for. As part of this process, Google will crawl through every page on your site and analyze both its content and surrounding metadata (such as titles and headings).
Google returns a list of pages
Once Google has completely analyzed your site, it will return a list of pages that are relevant to the user query. This is based on two factors: content and authority.
Content vs Authority
Content is more important than authority, but both are critical to SEO. Content covers the quality of your site's writing as well as its depth and breadth. Authority refers to how many other sites link back to yours.
The more authoritative sites that link to your website, the better. This is because Google looks at how many other sites link back to yours as a measure of its importance. If a site linked by CNN has links from tens of thousands of other websites, for example, Google will assume that it's an important page and rank it higher than a similar page from an unknown source.
The important thing is that you're not looking to get links from other sites in order to boost your own ranking on Google. You're trying to get links because they will help your readers find the content on your site more easily. If another site links back to yours, then it's a sign of good quality content and an authoritative page.
Does the order of text on a page matter?
The order of text on a page matters.
The first sentence, first paragraph, and first image are the most important.
If you have any video embedded in your website, it should be the first thing people see. Or if you have images that contain links to other pages on your website, those should be placed above all else as well. Finally, make sure that when someone goes to one section of your site they can easily find their way back using internal linking throughout the site.
How much does the name of my domain matter?
Your domain name can have a big impact on how you rank in search engine results. It acts as your website's identity and helps people find you. It also gives you the opportunity to get keyword-rich content on your site, which is helpful for ranking well in certain searches. Here are some ways that a strong domain name can help with SEO:
- Domain names are important for local SEO because they can help users find businesses in their area or region. Your keywords should be part of your domain name, but try to make it as short and memorable as possible so people will be able to recall it easily when looking for services you provide (and also remember where they found those services).
- It is important you choose a unique domain name to avoid confusion with other websites that may be using the same name. You can use a free domain name generator tool to help you come up with different options and find one that's right for your business.
- If you're creating multiple languages sites instead of just one English version online resource then having separate domains will allow Google to know where each language version lives so that it can display relevant results based on search queries being made from someone living somewhere else around the world who might not speak English fluently enough yet would still need access information about what kind services we offer here locally because maybe their native tongue isn't spoken widely enough too."
How can I make my site easier for Google to crawl and index?
A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages on your website and provides information about each one. This lets Google know what content is available on your website, and in relation to each other. You can create a sitemap by using the HTML code for it, or you can use an online generator like this one from Yoast that will generate one for you.
You should also set up a robots.txt file on your server so that search engines don’t visit certain parts of your site (like private areas). If you do want them to see those pages, though—such as when there’s an error message displayed—you need to add those pages into the file too! Search engine bots will read through what is written in this text file if they are allowed or disallowed access based upon instructions given within it; thus if someone has found their way onto an otherwise hidden page then it might be because they were able to find it by following links from another page within the same site which was originally indexed by Googlebot (the web crawler).
Understand how SEO works so you can get to the top of that rankings list.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when building your business. To take advantage of the online world and its capabilities, you need to understand how SEO works so that you can get to the top of that rankings list.
SEO is a long game; it takes time for your efforts to pay off. Don’t expect results overnight—rather, think about it as an investment in your future business and future success.
This article was intended to give you a basic understanding of how search engine optimization works. There’s more to the topic than this, but hopefully, it gives you a better idea of what happens behind the scenes when someone types in a query or clicks on one of your links.