Search Engines

What are Search engines and how do I use them?

This article is not intended to be a Search engine optimisation tutorial, but should bring an understanding of the way the Search Engine industry works. 

A search engine is searchable index of webpages, such as the service supplied by Google. Hundreds of thousands of people use search engines everyday to find websites for information and to buy products. It is claimed that over 80% of all your visitors can come via search engines and directories so it is very important to make sure your website is listed correctly. 

A correct listing in a Search engine means somewhere in the top 20 for a chosen search term that relates to your product. Ideally, In the top 10. This is because the number of visitors that look at sites from the first page of results and don't continue to the next page is extremely large, Visitors that go as deep as the third page of results are even rarer.

There are a number of resources available as a self help tutorial course and there are many companies and individuals that specialise in obtaining high rankings for your search terms. They are called SEOs, (Search Engine Optimisers).

Search engines attempt to bring back the most relevant results from a search and they can only read text. Clearly, a page full of text, few images and the content of the text containing the targeted search terms is the kind of page the engines would like to put in front of their users. If we create our pages in this way, we can expect each update of the Search engine algorithm to move closer to delivering our pages. There are a number of other factors affecting placement among the results but they are all secondary to this. Furthermore, there are several tricks used by many SEO's to get higher rankings, some of these are legitimate enhancements others are somewhat more underhanded. The underhanded ones will doubtless become useless as the Search Engines develop ever improving algorithms, but good quality pages will find themselves climbing through the ranks on each update.

To get off to a good start, remember: "Content is King".

Directories: Unlike Search Engines, Directories do not crawl around the internet searching for websites to add to the ever increasing index. Instead, they are human compiled and rely on people submitting pages to them. The following 2 links are directories: Yahoo! and Dmoz.

Next we look at the different customer types

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