Understanding Search Engines
A search engine sends a spider or bot to your website to collect information to add to its index. The search engine spider follows links on your website to internal and external pages. It then make copies of the pages, strips away the code, and interprets the remaining text. Ultimately your pages are scored and associated with certain words.
Meanwhile, users visiting popular search engines like Google or Bing will enter specific words or phrases looking for related web pages.
So how do you get listed in their top results?
The quality of the incoming links to your site is critical to Google. Five links from reputable, legitimate sites are worth more than a hundred links from questionable sites that provide no real service. The Google search engine will also evaluate your page content, hyperlinks, navigation structure, and the age of your site to help determine where to list your page in their results. In addition, Google now utilizes sophisticated algorithms to fight SPAM and filter out web pages that provide little unique text or value. It also uses data to "observe" how people engage with web pages and move around a website. If visitors stay a long time, it indicates that they are happy with their results. Google uses this information to help rank the website.
YouTube (URL: www.YouTube.com) is not just a video-sharing website, it is the world's #2 search engine. And now businesses are getting on board and uploading videos to YouTube. Businesses now post YouTube videos to share their knowledge and connect with potential customers. YouTube keeps track of the number of times a video has been viewed, how long users have stayed watching a video and at which point they left. Be sure your video content is compelling enough to make people watch it, rate it, and comment on it. And be sure to promote it on your website and your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Bing (URL: www.Bing.com) is similar to Google in the sense that it likes to see inbound links to a website. Page content and clean coding are other important factors to Bing. Internal site links are also noticed. Be sure to link extensively within the site and use strong link anchor text related to the content of the receiving page. Click Through Rate (CTR) is also important. If visitors click on a link in their search results page that leads to your website, it shows Bing that your site is popular. But if visitors click through to your site and then immediately hit the "back" button to try a different link, this indicates to Bing that they were not satisfied with your result and will soon lower your search engine ranking for that keyword phrase.
Social Media & Search Engine Results
Incoming links from Social Media websites like Facebook and Twitter can now dramatically affect your website's ranking in search engine results. Social media is an easy method of connecting with people all over the globe. It's also a great way to help you reach your prospective customers. Just make sure you are able to use it wisely. Everything you post should be fun, relevant to your chosen topic, and something that you think your readers will enjoy. See Understanding Social Media.