As a business owner looking to hire an SEO company, it is important to know how search engines operate, in order to understand all the work that goes into ranking in the number one spot. Here, we will take a look at the three steps search engines take, to decide what websites it will show in the search results.
Search engines use automated robots called “spiders” to crawl your website. Crawling means that the spiders view your webpages and everything on them, much like us humans do, but much quicker. Google has recorded them crawling at hundreds of pages per second.
While crawling your website, spiders are making a complete list of everything they see including page titles, images, keywords used, other pages it links to, page layout, & where links are (within the content or hidden in the footer). Search engine spiders regularly crawl websites to find new links or to see if anything has changed.
After the spiders are done crawling your website, they need a place to store all that data they just scanned. Search engine companies like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, have massive database centers that act as a library for their spiders to stash their data.
Retrieving & Ranking
The last step is the most complicated and the one SEO specialists are most concerned about. In this last step is where the ranking algorithms come into play. These algorithms, such as Google’s Panda algorithm, pit your website against billions of other websites to determine how relevant it is. The more relevant it is, the more likely it will appear higher in organic search results.
Only the search engine companies, who develop these algorithms, know how they really work. They do this for two reasons: to stay on top of the competition and to prevent gaming of the system. The company who shows the best results to their users will receive the most use. Finding out how they show better results, will lead to other companies copying their algorithms, and taking their business away. Also, knowing how an algorithm works might lead to cheating as we saw with keyword stuffing, and link farming.
Getting your website to the number one spot, doesn’t mean you’re done with your SEO efforts. Search engine companies are constantly making changes to their algorithms, which means that you could rank high one day and then suddenly drop down four pages.
These sudden changes in algorithms make having a reputable SEO company so valuable. Every time there is a change, you can bet they will be working hard to get your website back up in rankings.