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Search Engine Optimisation – Part One

Search engines explained

Many of you would have heard the term SEO, or search engine optimisation, but do you really understand what it means? SEO is key to ensuring your website is ranking well across various search platforms. I have put together this guide to help you improve your website’s SEO, so your business can thrive in the competitive online marketplace.

To start with, let’s explore the idea of ‘search engines’. Google is by far the biggest player in the search engine world, holding the global market at around 85% of online searches, with Bing the next biggest at around around 6% of the US population.

You may be wondering, how does a search engine get results? It basically consists of three parts:

  1. A crawler (also known as a spider or a bot)
  2. An index
  3. An algorithm

A crawler travels cyberspace through links looking for words in content, headings and links. When it finds a website, it saves the HTML version in a database called an index. The index is updated every time the crawler comes around, and this process works 24/7.

Key note: The Google crawler, named Googlebot, visits your website more or less often depending on how frequently you change your content, as well as how important Google thinks your site is.

Once your website information is indexed, how does this translate into the Google ranking? This is where the algorithm comes in. As business owners, we have all heard about the algorithm, so let’s get to understand it a little better.

What is the algorithm?

The algorithm takes the data from the index and makes a bunch of calculations to predict whether the results will be useful for the searcher. It then uses this calculation to see which order of webpages the search engine results page (or SERP) should show.

The most important elements the search engine will take into account include:

  1. Site speed
  2. Great content
  3. Site security

Google updates its algorithm with minor changes regularly, but a few times a year it will make major changes to better serve users (follow our blog for more about algorithms).

How do you get your website indexed on Google?

A crawler needs links to find your site – think of the internet as a city, which needs roads for accessing the buildings. Links are essentially a crawler’s highway, so the more links, the better access! The image above represents your website without links; the image below is your website with links. Each piece is now connected and therefore searchable!

What is a link?

There are two types of links;

  1. Internal links – these are links to another part of your website.
  2. External links – these are links to a different website.

Note: Click the links above to see examples of where these types of links could take you.

Linking is very important to your website overall, but done incorrectly can damage your search engine ranking. Links must always make sense and be relevant. For example, if you are a mobile mechanic but your links send the crawler (or viewers) to a sale at the local furniture store, your page will not rank well.

I hope you now have a better understanding of search engines and why links are important on your website. Keep your eyes out for more useful SEO help coming soon on the CLP Advertising blog.