Search engines make the web accessible to us all, making sense of the millions of pages that are available at any given time.
The people who run search engines are constantly making changes to the way they work in an effort to make results more relevant and to remove spam, to ensure that you return to their service the next time you want to find something.
But how do they match relevant sites to your query in a matter of milliseconds?
Here we will give you an overview of how they work and how you can use a good link building service to your advantage.
The biggest search engines, like Google and Bing, use programs known as ‘spiders’ that constantly ‘crawl’ the web, using links to move between pages and indexing the results so that you can access them quickly. The information is compressed and stored so that it can be quickly accessed when it is needed, allowing you to get quick results from their index rather than going through the whole web each time.
The information is stored and indexed differently by each search engine, and there are many different factors that affect the results. Webmasters set meta tags, which contain the key words in the article, and are picked up by search engines and referenced against them main text. Information about the words are also stored, including where it appears on the page or in a title, the words around it, the frequency it appears, whether it has capitals and a multitude of other factors to try to find the highest quality results.
The algorithms used to rank the results are highly complex – Google are known to change theirs 500-600 times each year. In a bid to get the best results and reduce spam, they take into account when the page was published and the content, but importantly analyse the links to and from the page.
By analyzing how pages link to one another a search engine can determine the quality of a page and will also weed out any low quality links that are trying to take advantage of the process. This makes link building services very effective as they can use high quality content to link to your most important keywords. They also analyse clicks on each result and will demote top listings that don’t get many clicks.
Search engines make their money from the paid for advertising – despite its wide range of services 99% of Google’s $30 billion dollar annual revenue comes from paid for advertising. Advertisers set the maximum price that they are prepared to pay for one click on an advert, and Google charge every time they deliver a click, depending on how popular the keyword is.
Search engines are now hugely complicated and can change their minds at any moment, tweaking their algorithms to include new factors and change their importance. One thing is certain, the importance that they place on links means that SEO and good link building companies can be invaluable, improving the all important rankings to bring more web users to your site.