What do Search Engines Look For
Now we have a website, great, but who knows it exists. Most site owners will want their website found by users of the internet (Article considers a possible case where this may not be required) Business owners will almost always want their site found!
Placing a website on the net does not mean it will be found by search engines! So what do search engines look for?
How Search Engines find Sites and Site Content!
There are numerous search engines, and each has its own method of finding content. This discussion will consider the most well known ones only, Google and Yahoo.
Everyone knows Google. Google is without doubt the most used search engine in existence. Yahoo is also well known, but is perhaps not the first choice of most people these days.
This article will attempt to highlight some of the most important factors these search engines use to discover and list your web pages.
The subject is extensive; attempting to provide every detail would be prohibitive. Instead I will provide what I and many SEO specialists consider the most important areas, which will then be further investigated in future articles.
CONTENT for Search Engine Results
Without doubt, content is the most important factor to be considered. Search engines favour sites with lots of UNIQUE and relevant content. Search engines also favour sites that have new content added regularly.
A web site may initially achieve a decent rating from search engines, however if no new content is added, or existing content is not updated, this rating will drop off after some time.
Search Engines Favour Structured Content
By structured content, I mean content that is presented in logical and HUMAN readable format. If you look at the structure of this page, you can see it consists of paragraphs and headings.
This structure indicates to search engines what is important on the page. It will look for 'Key Words' used to tell viewers (and search engines) the topics the content is about.
Google is less concerned with structure than Yahoo.
Key Words for Search Engines
Key Words (not to be confused with the technical term 'Meta Tag Keywords') are important words and groups of words used regularly throughout the page to highlight the topic, in this case 'search engine' is the primary Key Word Group. The phrase Search Engine is used often throughout the content, both in headings, and in paragraphs.
Overuse of keywords should be avoided however. Search engines may consider over use of keyword phrases as spam,and downgrade the results of a search for the terms.
This tells the Search Engine that this is a page about Search Engines. Another example of the use of keyword groups can be found on our 8ta Review page, where the repetitive use of use of keywords has been over done deliberately to emphasize the useage. They high search engine esult positioning of this is not due to this extensive keyword use, rather to the UNIQUENESS of the content and the term 8ta review.
Search Engines Look for Links
Search engines look through their database to find links from other sites to your site, and pages on your site. Without these links, your content gets little if any attention, especially from Google.
The type of site, the content, as well as the quality of the site (as seen by the search engine) is also extremely important. Having hundreds of links from sites with content having no relevance to your web site content, and which are rated low by search engines will not help your cause.
Other Things Search Engines Look For
- Description Meta Tag – A brief summary of the content of a page which is used by search engines, including Google and Yahoo, to provide the summary of content that appears along with the link in their result pages.
- Code - to some extent having clean validated code used in the pages will make the search engines job easier, and will add to the overall 'opinion' of the site from a search engines point of view.
- Page Title
- Links to your core pages (internal links)
- Links to external web pages (external links)
- Site history
- Domain history
Each of these will be discussed in more detail in future articles.