The Skinny on How Search Engines Find and Rank Sites

Many people ask how their new site will ever show up in Google or Bing or Yahoo. The first thing a search engine does to find new web sites (and find changes to existing ones) is sent out software robots called “spiders.” On the Internet, these little cyber arachnids crawl through each web site they find and gather data (mainly from the textual content). This data is then brought back to the search engines main servers where they index your site under topics they believe it is focused on. For example, if you web site sells hypoallergenic pillow cases, then there will probably be a lot of words around that subject, so the spider should index your site as being “about” that topic. The location of words on your web pages also plays a part. If certain words show up in headings and in bold, for example, then those words are weighted a little more heavily in determining the topic of that web page.

All this data from all these web sites are stored in the search engine’s index. These huge repositories are what get queried when a person searches on something in their browser. Hopefully if someone searches on the phrase: “hypoallergenic pillow cases” then the site mentioned previously will come up. The job of the search engines is to do the best job possible in indexing web sites so that when people use their service, they get the results that fit their needs. And that’s the whole shebang. Now sculpting your web pages so they rank very high for particular words and phrases is the real challenge. That when it’s time to learn about search engine optimization or find a reputable company that does.

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