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What is a Search Engine?

by Jackson B

A search engine is simply a program that’s designed to perform internet searches, meaning to search the World Wide Web for specific information defined in a text-based web search query. This type of search is known as a “Google Search.” Other similar programs include Yahoo! Search and MSN Search. Search engine technology allows us to find information on the internet.

These types of engines are made up of complex sets of computer codes called “smart” or “riders” or “hedgehog” algorithms. These algorithms take the query or topic and “pre-process” it so that it ranks high in the search engines for the subject. It accomplishes this by following well established, pre-programmed algorithms or “works-flow” procedures. These procedures or algorithms are tested for months or even years in advance of being implemented into a live website.

An example of a working algorithm is Google’s latest,” Panda” update. This update dramatically changed the way how search engines worked. It started with Google using two major factors to rate a website: keyword density and web design quality. In Google’s opinion, web designers have an enormous impact on the success of a site. Therefore, they were going to make changes to prevent webmasters from ranking poorly based solely on keywords. As a result, the two major search engines now use more than one factor to rank a website.

Another important factor in how search engines rank a website is called “crawl history,” or Google’s ability to read past webpages and index the information found within. The older a webpage is, the more it will be indexed. Over time, this can become a very large problem for SEO firms. Because Google is always crawling the internet and is constantly adding and updating its own search history, it has become imperative for an SEO firm to stay up to date and ensure it can provide its clients with as many search results as possible.

Google’s crawl cycle is not the only factor that decides a website’s rank. In fact, it is the single most important factor. Google also takes several other factors into account before determining a sites ranking. These other factors include how long a site has been around, how frequently it is crawled and the link popularity of each page within a site. Basically, every aspect of how Google works is related to how it ranks websites.

The major updates to Google last year were a result of feedback given by consumers. Google implemented new algorithms that caused search results to be more personalized and gave Google a better idea of where a site was located in relation to the search history of its customers. Google’s new crawler is also able to handle a larger volume of data and is able to better identify content that is not relevant. All of this, and a large part of Google’s indexing, can be traced back to Google’s crawl history.

Google’s indexing continues to improve as Google improves its ability to recognize relevant content. Currently, over 90% of all webpages are indexed. Google also takes into account the number of pages that are linked to any given site. When Google started out, linking was not taken into account, leading to sites with large amounts of back links not being ranked very high in the first place. As Google began to implement link popularity into their ranking algorithms, however, all of this changed and now, all sites are ranked based on how many other sites link to them.

So, if you are wondering, “What is a Search Engine?” I would suggest asking yourself these two questions. If you are having problems defining what your website is and what keywords you should be using, then it may be time to start learning more about search engine optimization. It is not just about building links; it is also about getting better at keyword ranking and increasing your SERP. Visit site for more details.


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