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About search engines
What is a search engine?
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What are search engines?

Web search engines are basically systems (like Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Alta

Vista, Excite, MSN, Lycos Google and Ask) that search for websites, images,

videos and other content on the internet, based on the words or phrases that

searchers (members of the public) type in as search terms - “keywords”.

Search engines work by storing information about web pages, which they

retrieve from the HTML itself. They look through their databases (their indexes)

for specific websites containing the information, data and/or keywords that the

user is looking for. The results of that search are then usually presented in list

form, often referred to as search engine results pages (or “SERPs”).

One of the advantages (and also challenges) of search engines’ functionality is

that they maintain real-time information, by running algorithms on a web

crawler. This ensures that users get up-to-date results, as far as possible. What this means for webmasters is that, to

consistently rank well in SERPs, it is essential to:

maintain your site (i.e. ensure that it is “healthy”, has no errors or broken links etc)

continually update it with high quality content.

Search engine operate by:

web crawling - A web crawler (also referred to as a “spider”) is an automated browser, which retrieves pages and

follows every link on a site.


indexing - Once a site has been crawled, the contents of each page (including, for example, page titles,

descriptions, tags, content, headings etc) are then analysed to determine how it should be indexed - this is where

SEO comes in.

searching - The indexed data is then stored in a database for use in future search queries. When a user enters a

search term (usually containing keywords), the search engine examines its index and provides a list of best-

matching web pages according to its criteria.

How we can help your business to achieve good search engine rankings:

In order to rank highly in search engine results pages, it is essential that your website contains high quality, relevant

content specific to your business, products, services, customer base, themes etc. We can help you to generate quality and

keyword-specific content - see our web page content service page.

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