Search engines

Posted: 11th May 2015

Ola Andersson is the husband of WiRE member Naomi Andersson. Naomi asked her hubby to guide us through the importance of search engines to websites.

What is a search engine?

The best known search engines are Google and Yahoo. These engines, or programs, search through websites on the internet. They see web pages as documents and then search these documents for specified keywords, returning a list of the sites, or documents where the keywords were found.

What do search engines do?

Typically, a search engine works by sending out what is known as “a spider” to fetch as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document; this indexer will help the search engine put the pages that have been found into an order of priority.

Why is it important that search engines visit my site?

The spider and index work of the search engine is happening all the time, not just when someone is searching for something. The search engines must visit your site to be able to index it in advance of any searches. It needs to read all your text. If your site hasn’t been indexed and read by search engines, nobody will be able to find your site without knowing the exact web address.

How can I make my website more visible to the search engines?

By optimising your web site. You take a series of steps to promote your webpage or website on the Internet and strive to achieve higher rankings on the search engines.

How often do I need to review my ranking on search engines?

I’d recommend reviewing your search engine ranking on a weekly basis. Remember, the Internet is a global market place and lots of other companies are also busy trying to get higher up the rankings. Optimisation is an ongoing process and should be seen as a continual task.

What is the difference between search engine ranking and optimisation?

If a site has a high search engine ranking it means it appears high up – ie on the first or second page – on Google. Optimisation is the process of achieving the high ranking.

How will I know if my site is fully optimized?

Try to find your site via a search engine using the keywords that you think your customer might be using if they don’t know about your site. Does your site appear in the first couple of pages? If yes, great! If not, perhaps there is something that can be done to get higher up the rankings; but be realistic – if you have very few pages with little content there is little chance you will be high up, unless you are in a niche market with few competitors.

What kind of sites get high search engine ranking?

Typically sites with lots of relevant, good quality content and a site where content is added to and renewed on a regular basis. If a site has good content and also lots of incoming links it stands a good chance. Your web site also needs to be uncomplicated for search engines to read.

Can I do anything myself to improve my ranking?

Yes, absolutely. By getting your business in relevant business directories (not just any directory) and by getting mentioned in online articles you will increase your link popularity ie number of relevant links to your site from other

sites. The key here is relevance, linking to all and sundry can have the opposite effect. Also by refreshing your site regularly and adding new content to your site you will greatly increase your chances of a high ranking – content is king and search engines tend to reward sites with good quality content.

What sort of services should I be looking for when appointing someone to help me with Search Engine ranking and optimisation?

You need to find someone that not only has the technical know-how and methodology to build sites but someone who is also willing to spend time learning about your particular industry.

After optimisation, will I see results straight away?

No, probably not. You need to be a bit patient; some sites don’t reach their full potential until several months or even up to a year later. Competition is fierce and you shouldn’t expect overnight results. Marketing must also play a part in building your website popularity. That said, you should see some measurable results in terms of unique visitors to your site within a few weeks.

Please note that this article is not written by WiRE but by a third party company. Whilst WiRE have made every effort to ensure that the information and details are accurate, we are unable to guarantee that they completely and WiRE are therefore unable to accept liability for any loss you may suffer as a result of omission or inaccuracy.