There is no doubt about the fact that internet is one of the most amazing products of technology. It seemed impossible long ago but today, sending mails that typically take a few months to get delivered, only seeing your relatives when you visit them personally and doing a 30-page assignment for months and researching the old-fashioned way are things of the past.
Internet is like a giant and dynamic library that houses information about everything and anything under the sun. And with the help of search engines, finding your favorite chick-flick from decades ago and reading your favorite trilogies to doing your brain-wrecking assignments are now all possible, thanks to the internet and search engines (and the people who upload the information, of course).
You’ve probably wondered once about how these search engines work. Don’t these things amaze you? You just type in the search box whatever you want to see, read or watch and within seconds of hitting enter, the results are all in front of your eyes. And, the best part here is, the results are ranked based upon what matches your query the most.
Have you ever wondered how this information is filtered from billions of pages on the internet and are accurately delivered to you in less than half a second? It may seem simple but search engines actually use a lot of complicated algorithms. Thanks to the power of Search Engine Optimization or SEO, everything can be categorized properly and hence everything can be easily searched.
SEO or search engine optimization is the process of getting ranked on the search result pages of major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, and getting traffic to our website/webpage from them. It can also be defined as the process of getting traffic to a website from “free”, “natural” or “organic” listing of search engines.
All the search engines have these types of results, where they show web content like articles, videos, etc., from websites which they consider authoritative and relevant to the search query made by the user. Unlike paid search ads, we don’t need to pay the search engine to get our website ranked on the search result pages.
If you are new to SEO you may find it difficult to understand the process of SEO explained in mere written text. That’s why we have added the “Introduction to SEO (Search Engine Optimization)” video here from Search Engine Land.
What Is SEO?
The video will help you to understand all the basics of SEO.
Updated: Search Engine Optimization is a kind of powerful web marketing strategy that helps search engines find your website and rank it against billions of other websites in response to a query made by a user. In other words, Search Engine Optimization is like a traffic enforcer that lets you pass among the many other cars to advance and be in the top results of a query.
Usually, the higher the rank of a website in the search results is, the more visitors it gets. And since it is “popular”, more people will likely visit the site. After all, based upon the results, this is the website that has the most relevant information on what they’re searching for.
Therefore, SEO is used to improve a website in order to help increase the traffic that it receives from search engines. Companies that incorporate SEO continuously find out what keywords or phrases would increase their website’s traffic and devise ways to make their website more search engine friendly. These techniques increase their website’s hits which in turn increases its traffic, giving the companies more chances of marketing and selling their products and services.
This find-filter-rank process may seem simple but within the half of a half second, different processes will have already been done. At the heart of Search Engine Optimization are four functions: crawling, indexing, calculating relevance and ranking, and delivery of results.
Imagine the different bus stops in your city. This first function is like a bus that goes from one stop to another, collecting passengers. The same thing happens on the internet; different PDFs, photos, documents, articles and other files that are uploaded on the internet are the bus stops which the bus “crawls” through to see if the required data is present. Then they collect information from it and “bring” it back to the search engines.
When the search engines have found the websites among millions that contain the keywords you’ve entered, they store pieces of data from these sites on huge drives for recall when needed. Imagine how billions of information pieces are stored and shown in a fraction of a second. Amazing, right?
Calculating Relevance and Ranking
After finding pages that contain the queried words, the search engines determine a website’s relevance to the keyword entered. This filters millions of webpages on the internet and returns results that are most relevant to the search. And since webpages with more visitors are perceived to have more value, they occupy higher position. It is by filtering webpages through relevance and importance that Search Engine Optimization works.
Delivering of Results
After filtering and ranking, the search results are displayed. You can assume that the webpages on the first pages have what you need while those on the last pages may also contain answer to your queries but do not receive as much visitors or have less information compared to the ones listed on the first page.
SEO is actually just one of the many techniques that firms use to increase their website’s traffic and gain more visitors. As a marketing strategy on the internet, it maximizes a website’s potential by organizing it according to the actual keywords people search for, how search engines work, how accessible the content is to majority of search engines and by removing barriers that would hinder crawling and indexing of the website.
Have you tried SEO yet? What do you think about the potential of SEO in terms of website traffic?