We’ll explain how search engines have changed business, and tell you why they’re an excellent place to plug your business on.

Where did search engines come from? One of the earliest search engines was a program called Archie, which debuted in 1990 and allowed people to access and search file names—basically the names of the online pages. But, Archie couldn’t tell you what was on those pages.

Fast forward a few decades, and search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo!,, AOL, Baidu, and Yandex have come a long way.

These search engines use incredibly sophisticated computer programs to sort through a huge number of sites.

Most search engines basically add an equivalent way. When an individual wants to seek out something, they type during a word or phrase, called an inquiry query.

Then, the search engine compares that query to its catalog of web pages, pulling out the best matches to show the searcher. These are displayed on a search results page.

Their goal is to make the foremost relevant list of results possible, to assist searchers to find what they're trying to find.

The results page includes links to websites, but you might also see local business listings, items for sale, advertisements, images, maps, videos, and more. So how does this apply to you?

Well, imagine you own a coffee shop. If someone searches for coffee shop Cotswolds— that’s you!—this is the perfect opportunity to appear on the search results page.

In the same way, if you’re a technician who repairs air conditioning units, or a local takeaway ready to deliver dinner, you want to show up when people search for related words and phrases.

Why? Because the words entered into the program indicate the searcher is curious about your products and services, right now.

See why search is such an excellent place to be? It’s a way to target people who are already looking for you.

Don’t just take our word for it. Many marketers will tell you that search is important to their online marketing strategy, and therefore the numbers back this up.

Does this mean you ought to ignore other ways of advertising online? Of course not!

Your plan can and will include many alternative ways to market your business, like social media, email marketing, and display advertising.

But, if you’re a business curious about promoting products and services online, being on search may be a pretty safe bet.

Key learnings

Search engines catalog the web to assist connect searchers with exactly what they're trying to find. That makes them a great marketing tool. This video covers:

a brief history of search engines

how search engines changed business

why search is a good place to start.


We’ll give you the basics of how search engines find web pages, what they do with the pages they find, and how they decide what results to show.

When you’re employing a program to seek out the closest cafe, you’re probably not brooding about program technology.

But later you might wonder, how did it do that?

How did it sort through the whole Internet so quickly, and choose the results you saw on the page?

Each search engine uses its own software programs, but the way they work is pretty similar.

They all perform three tasks: First, they examine content they learn about and have permission to see (that’s called crawling).

Second, they categorize each piece of content (that’s called indexing).

Third, they decide which content is most useful to searchers (that’s called ranking).

Let’s take a closer look at how this works. Search engines “crawl” the web to get content, like sites, images, and videos.

Each program uses computer programs called “bots” (short for robot), “crawlers” or “spiders” to form their way through the pages.

The bots hop from page to page by following links to other pages. These bots never stop; their sole purpose is to go to and revisit pages trying to find new links and new content to incorporate within the index.

Indexing is the second part of the process. The index may be a gigantic list of all the online pages and content found by the bots. The program uses this index because of the source of data displayed on the search results pages.

But, not everything the bots find makes it into a search engine’s index.

For example, search engines may find multiple copies of the exact same piece of content, located on different websites.

How is that possible? Well, imagine you’re not checking out a cafe, but a coffeemaker.

You might notice that the top-of-the-line CoffeeKing2000 has an equivalent word-for-word description on the websites of the many major retailers.

The description may need to be been provided by the manufacturer... but now the program has decisions to make: which version to stay within the index?

There’s no need for many duplicates, so it’s unlikely that each page is going to be added.

So if you own an internet site that’s selling coffeemakers, you’re likely happier writing your own description of the CoffeeKing2000.

Make sense? That covers crawling and indexing, which just leaves us with ranking.

When you type during a search, the engine compares the words and phrases you employ to its index, trying to find matching results.

Let’s say, for instance, the program finds 230 million matching results. Now it’s time for the last part of the search engine’s task: ranking.

The way search engines rank pages is top secret—it’s their ‘special sauce.’ There are many ways search engines determine rank, including things just like the words on the page, the number of other websites linking to it, and the freshness of the content.

But regardless of what formula they use to work outrank, the goal remains the same: to undertake to attach the searcher with what they're trying to find.

Say you’ve examined an Australian-style cappuccino called a flat white and you would like to undertake it. If you look for “flat white coffee near me” the program will show you nearby shops selling the drink, because your search indicated your location.

You might even see a map to help you find them. So, what have we learned? Search engines are constantly working to scour the web for content, organize it, and then display the most relevant results to searchers. Understanding this process will help you make your website the best it can be.

Key learnings

Search engines examine all the pages on the planet Wide Web, categorize them, and put them into a logical order once you look for something. Understanding how this works can help your business. This video will cover:

how search engines find web pages

what they are doing with the online pages they find

how they decide what to point out on search results pages.

how search engines see the web

We’ll re-evaluate how search engines understand what’s on an internet page, which parts of an internet page specifically help them, and the way you'll make your pages more visible to search engines.

In simple terms, once you ask an inquiry engine to seek out something, it's through an enormous list of previously indexed pages, called “the index,” and pulls out relevant results based on what you’re looking for.

Pages make it into “the index” only after the program has determined what they’re about. That way, it can file them in just the proper place amongst the opposite pages, and find the subsequent time an inquiry relates to their content.

By knowing how an inquiry engine decides what a page is about, you'll optimize your pages to form sure they show up within the search results of individuals looking for websites just like yours. Let’s say you own a coffee shop, and you’ve got a website to promote it. When you look at a page on the site you see this.

But when an inquiry engine looks at an equivalent page, additionally to see what you see on your screen, it also sees the code behind it, called HTML.

Specific parts of this code help the program understand what the online page is all about. And knowing which parts are important can assist you to optimize your site. First, the title of the page in the code.

In this example, you can see the title in the tab at the top: “Cotswolds Coffee Shop.” The search engine sees the title enclosed in a piece of code called a title tag. It looks like this:

Cotswolds Coffee Shop

Many websites are often edited using tools that handle all the HTML coding for you - that’s called a content management system, or CMS. If you use a CMS to make changes to your website, there’s probably a place to add this title, too.

You can help the program index your page properly by ensuring your page title accurately describes its content. That way it can show up in relevant searches.

The next thing you’ll want to think about is the page’s text. Think about whom you want to visit your page, and what words they’re using to describe your products and services.

Do they talk about fair trade coffee? Do they use the term cappuccino rather than macchiato? These are probably the terms they’re also using to look.

Try to speak the language of your customers once you write your content. Because this will help ensure they’ll find your pages once they search. Finally, let’s talk about the page’s images.

Search engines won’t see the mouth-watering photos of your coffee creations in the same way we do - which is a shame. But what they're going to see is that the code behind it.

To help search engines identify the image provides a descriptive name.

For example, image.jpg isn't an excellent file name for search engines. Whereas, something that describes exactly what’s in the picture, like iced-peppermint-mocha.jpg, is.

You can even take it one step further by adding “alternative text” within the code together with your image. Known as an “Alt tag,” it describes the image, which is beneficial for people using web browsers that don’t display images, or for people with visual impairments who use software to listen to the content of web pages.

In the HTML, the alt tag will appear something like this:

Again, if you use a content management system to update your website there’s probably a place to add an Alt tag, too.

So remember: Use descriptive, unique titles for each page on your site. Write for your customers, but remember to include important words and phrases that can help search engines understand what your pages are all about. And don’t forget to call image files with descriptive words and include alternative text.

Together, all of those tips can help search engines understand your pages and put them ahead of the folks that matter - your potential customers.

Key learnings

If you would like to form sure your website turns up in additional program results, stay tuned for this video, which includes:

how search engines understand what's on an internet page

which parts of an internet page help search engines do that

how to make your sites more visible to look engines.

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