Basic SEO course – Chapter – 5

We are going to understand how exactly search engines work, it is very important for SEO professionals to know what they are dealing with. Search engines are programmed to store billions of web pages in the index.

It starts from discovering new web pages through web crawlers, it is a computer program running on search engine server, they are called bots or spiders. These web crawlers download each page to the server and make an index with domain name, keywords discovered, images, and video links.

All outgoing (outbound) links on the downloaded page next get crawled and the same process continues. All key information related to a page is also stored like the total number of words, keywords, inbound link count, outbound link count, page load time, device compatibility, location of web server, IP address of the server, number of other websites hosted on the same IP (if that is shared webserver).
Age of webpage, last update date, any specific instruction to bots (robot.txt, sitemap.xml, metadata) are checked and stored on the search engine server, but not mandatory. Search engines are not bound to follow these instructions, but in general, they do.

Search Engine Algorithm
This computer program works to determine ranking in realtime, search engines keep updating their algorithm to calculate what should be displayed in the search results for a given query by the user. Algorithms are designed to filter spam, to understand what a user is looking for by implementing preprogrammed conditions. Most popular search engine like Google informs webmasters through public statements what is their next algorithm change, but not bound to.

Idea of search result
The ideal result page should match what a user is looking for, that can be location-specific, a search request to find the latest news, or a research paper. Search engines never likes to be forced by webmaster by overdoing on-page or off-page ranking boost. They sometimes manually blacklist or deindex a domain or page on complaint. Google’s webmaster’s guideline explains what is best practice to optimize a webpage, the role of SEO should be limited to improving user-experience, to make a quality webpage and make sure webpage/domain is always up to serve users. Manipulating a search engine is always going to harm a website instead of helping.

In the next chapters, we will understand in detail about Google’s ago change and timeline.

Assignment: Write a list of logics/conditions a search engine should implement to filter spams. Upload this document to your shared Google Drive account and share it with your course coordinator.