Are you one of those people who always wanted to know how a search engine works? Then this blog is for you! Are you planning to acquire or hone skills related to digital marketing? Then, hit the “Follow” button now! Because in the following weeks I’ll cover a wide range of topics about digital marketing from beginner resources to advanced search engine optimization techniques.

A few decades back, people went to the internet to find information on people, places, products, etc. For people who are new to the internet or computers, it was a tedious process.

Earlier, people used telephone directories to find the contact information of a person in their city. It was quite difficult to find that information because you had to manually scourge through to find the phone number of a person or a business.

Yahoo came up with an idea of an online directory where all information is stored on a website and this way, it will be accessible at any time.

Initially, it worked wonderfully. However, as contacts and sub-categories crossed millions, it became a problem.

This made a user’s life hard because he/she had to know all the categories and subcategories in order to find that specific piece of information they were looking for. Search engines come to existence to solve the shortcomings of online directories.

Google made people’s life easy by showing only a curated set of results.

How does Google work? Many people use Google without understanding how it processes website content across the internet. Google is similar to an online directory but it does the additional heavy lifting of identifying the correct website/information that you need in a fraction of seconds.

How does Google rank a website?

Google takes two important aspects of a website into consideration to curate results.

  1. Relevance
  2. Popularity

Here’s an example that will help understand the concept better.

Let’s assume that three people in your office have the same name — David. So, when someone asks you who David is, you would ask the person a few more questions like ‘Which department does he work?’, ‘How tall is he?’ and more to narrow down your search process.

If the person who’s seeking a specific David replies, “I’m not sure”, then you have to tell him that three of your colleagues have the same name. So, you will give them more information about each David to help him/her identify the right one. (This is how Google was working a long time back)

Over the years, Google started using another metric called “popularity”. Let’s take another example where the person enters your office to meet Mr.Paul (the CEO of your company). Anyone can give the right answer easily. In this case, the person is very popular in your company and so everyone knows that person. Google uses the same method to show the results. If more than 10 web pages have the same information then Google looks at the number of backlinks that point to a page as a ranking signal.

Google always looks for these two aspects when it ranks all web pages. Over the years, Google made a number of changes to its search algorithm and even updated the way in which search results are presented, but it has never strayed away from its core principles.

I hope the examples listed above help you understand how Google ranks websites in its search results. Now that we know how search works, what does search engine optimization mean?

Here’s what Wikipedia says about SEO: “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results.”

Yes, the job of every SEO analyst in the world is to ensure that his/her organization’s web pages relevant and popular over their competitor’s webpages.

I hope you like my first post on SEO. Please hit the “Follow” button to learn more about SEO in the coming months. I promise you that this journey is not going to end in the next few months. See you in my next post, thanks for reading!



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