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How do Search Engines work?

Understanding how search engines work will help you know what it takes to make your SEO campaign successful for your small business and justify the investment you’ll need to get there. I’ll review how search engines work, but avoid getting really technical.

First, search engines get data about content available on websites by sending a “bot” to “crawl” them. A bot, also called a spider or crawler, is just a computer program that automatically discovers pages.

Next, search engines index the pages they find. This is just a fancy way of saying they store the pages. Once your pages, images, and pdf files are in the index, they have the potential to show up in search engine results.

Finally, content is ranked. Ranking is what decides what content deserves to appear in the search results and in what order. How search engines determine rank is based on a mathematical algorithm that changes frequently. It’s helpful to consider that when people do a keyword search, they are really asking a question. The purpose of the algorithm is to show the content that best answers those questions first.

SEO is about improving the way you answer questions that relate to your business. Watch my next video to learn more about how you do this.

Continue to the next lesson, What is involved with SEO?

View the previous lesson, What is SEO?

Return to the SEO Course page.


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