UNDERSTANDING SEARCH ENGINES
Search Engine Spiders
A search engine sends a spider or bot to your website to collect information to add to its index. This spider crawls over the Web. It 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 to 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?
Getting a high rank (PageRank) in the Google search engine (URL: www.google.com) will help you get listed in their top results. PageRank is a method Google uses to measure the importance of a web page. It assigns a value on a scale from 0 to 10 (with 10 being the best). A page that is linked to by many pages with high PageRanks receives a high rank itself. If there are no links to a web page, there is no support for that page.
The quality of the incoming links to your site is critical to PageRank. 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 evaluate your PageRank, page contents, hyperlinks, navigation structure, and age of your site, along with other factors, then determine where to list your page in their results. Learn more about incoming web site links. Google has recently introduced sophisticated algorithms to fight SPAM and filter out web pages that provide very little unique text or value. It also uses data to "observe" how people engage with web pages, and how they move around a website. If visitors stay a long time, it indicates that they are happy with their results and have found value in the content. 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. Educational resource videos are especially popular since people now search the web for help and advice. Businesses now post YouTube videos to share their knowledge and connect with potential customers. These days, your business should be as easy to find on YouTube as well as on Google.
You can start capturing a video even if you don't have a camcorder. Nowadays, most people have cell phones with video-capturing capabilities. You can also use a computer with a built-in webcam, or an external webcam that you can connect to your computer.
Be sure to add relevant content that is meaningful to your audience. It's about connecting and building trust with them. The more visitors watch and respond to your video, the higher your YouTube ranking will be. Your video's title, description and tags also play a key role, as do the quality and number of incoming links, visitors' click-through rates, bounce rates etc.
Did you know that 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 interesting, engaging, and 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 is the current web search engine from Microsoft. 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. If a website's code is poorly written, it appears that Bing downgrades the site's search rankings heavily. 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. Bing puts more emphasis on domain age than Google. How long you've had a domain name for a website is important to Bing.
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. Bing believes that websites with higher Click Through Rates are more relevant. 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.
Recently Bing has added a gray sidebar to the far right hand side of the search results page. This is the company's social integration feature, and makes it easy for visitors to connect to Facebook.
Social Media and Search Engine Results
The future trends of internet are rapidly changing. 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 a very easy and convenient method of sharing and connecting with people all over the globe. It is also an easy and effortless process 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.