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Search Engines Explained

Posted on December 8, 2020 by Barrett Florin

A search engine is a database system designed to index and categorize internet addresses, otherwise known as URLs.

There are four basic types of search engines:

Automatic: These search engines are based on information that's collected, sorted and analyzed by software programs, commonly called"robots","spiders", or"crawlers". These spiders crawl through web pages collecting information that is then analyzed and categorized into an"index". When you run a search using one of those search engines, you're actually searching the index. The outcome of the search will be based on the contents of the index and its relevancy to your question.

Directories: A directory is a searchable subject guide of Web sites which have been reviewed and compiled by human editors. These editors decide which sites to list, and, in which classes.

Meta: Meta search engines use automated technology to collect information from a spider and then produce a summary of the information as the outcome of an investigation to the end user.

Pay-per-click (PPC): A search engine that determines ranking according to the dollar amount you pay for each click from that search engine to your website. Examples of PPC search engines are Overture.com and FindWhat.com. The highest ranking goes to the highest bidder.

There are a few downfalls that you should know about using PPCs:

Using PPC search engines as part of your search engine optimization process won't improve your search engine placement in the regular editorial search results. Rather, they will most always appear in a"Sponsored" or"Featured" area located in the top or side of the normal search page results. Despite the fact that your paid listing will appear on peak of the search page, many users won't click on paid listings because they look at it as an advertisement. Previously, people used to always click on banner ads, but now they're seen more of as a nuisance. Similarly, the same thing is happening with PPC listings. Also, PPC listings aren't always as relevant to a question as the editorial search results.

If your website isn't effectively search engine optimized before you start to submit an application to a PPC, it will still be poorly advertised later. The optimization of your Web site is vital to the success of your positions.

When you stop paying for a PPC submission, your listing disappears and so does the traffic.

PPCs may be an effective short-term solution to gaining exposure and forcing instant traffic to your Web site while you wait for full indexing, but it can get expensive if you use it like a long-term solution.

How Do Search Engines Work? :

Search engines compile their databases with the help of spiders (a.k.a. robots). These search engine spiders crawl the Web from link to link, identifying Web pages. After search engine spiders find a Web site, they index the content on these pages, making the URLs available to Internet users. Then, owners of Web sites submit their URLs to search engines for crawling and, ultimately, inclusion in their databases. This is called search engine submission.

When you use search engines to locate something on the world wide web, you're essentially asking the search engine to scan its database and match your keywords and phrases with the content of the URLs they have on file at that time. Spiders regularly return to the URLs they index to look for changes. When changes occur, the index is updated to reflect the new info.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Search Engines?

Pro: With the huge wealth of information available on the world wide web, search engines are the best and efficient means to find information based on your particular search requests.

Con: Because search engines index mass amounts of information, you're likely to find irrelevant answers to your search requests.

Are Search Engines All The Same?

Search results differ from search engine to search engine concerning size, speed and content. The results will also vary depending on the ranking criteria the search engines use. If you are not getting the results you require, try another search engine. While the results might not be wildly different, you might find a couple of search results from 1 search engine that you did not from another.

How Do Search Engines Rank Web Pages?

When rank Web pages, search engines follow specific criteria, which might change from one search engine to another. Naturally, they wish to make the hottest (or relevant) pages on top of the list. Search engines will look at key words and phrases, content, HTML meta tags and link popularity -- just to name a few -- to ascertain the value of the webpage.