Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

All major search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, have two primary functions: first, they crawl websites and build an index; second, they provide search users with a ranked list of websites determined to be most relevant.

When a person performs an online search, the search engine scours billions of documents and does two things: first, it returns only those results that are relevant or useful to the searcher's query; second, it ranks those results according to the popularity of the websites serving the information. It is both relevance and popularity that the process of SEO is meant to influence.

How do search engines determine relevance and popularity?

To a search engine, relevance means more than finding a page with the right words. In the early days of the web, search engines didn’t go much further than this simplistic step, and search results were of limited value. Over the years, smart engineers have devised better ways to match results to searchers’ queries. Today, hundreds of factors influence relevance.

Search engines typically assume that the more popular a site, page, or document, the more valuable the information it contains must be. This assumption has proven fairly successful in terms of user satisfaction with search results.

Popularity and relevance aren’t determined manually. Instead, the engines employ proprietary mathematical equations (algorithms) to sort the wheat from the chaff (relevance), and then to rank the wheat in order of quality (popularity).

These algorithms often comprise hundreds of variables. In the search marketing field, we refer to them as “ranking factors.”

The Computer Guy employs a number of best practices to help improve search engine rankings. But because popularity and relevance are determined by a proprietary mathematical equation, there really is no way to guarantee improved ranking. However, when we follow best practices, we tend to yield positive results for our client.

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