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Importance of Search Engine Optimization
By: Global Associates
As you a user, when you need to find information on a topic, you use search engines to get a listing of websites related to the topic of interest. As a webmaster, you want your site to be one of the first ones the user will see. With all the competition out there, how can you, the web designer, make sure you are noticed? That is where effective search engine optimization comes in.
II. How Search Engines Work
The term search engine is frequently used to describe both crawler-based search engines and human-powered directories. These two types of search engines gather their listings in very different ways.
A. Crawler-Based Search Engines
Crawler-based search engines, such as Google, produce their listings automatically. They act like a spider crawling through the website and then people search through what they have found. There are three major elements to crawler-based search engines — the spider, the index, and the search engine software.
1. Spider — The spider, also called the crawler, visits a web page, reviews it, and then follows links to other web pages within the same site. This is what is referred to when a site is being "crawled" or "spidered". The spider returns to the website on a frequent basis, perhaps every couple of months, to look for modifications. Everything the spider finds goes into an index, the second element of a crawler-based search engine.
2. Index — The index, also called the catalog, is like a huge book containing an exact copy of every web page that the spider finds. If a web page has been altered, then this book is updated with the current information. Sometimes it may take a while for new web pages or modifications that the spider finds to be added to the index. Therefore, a web page may have been spidered, but not yet indexed. Until it is indexed, the web page will not be available to those searching with the search engine.
3. Search Engine Software — It is the third element of a search engine. This is the program that shifts through the millions of pages recorded in the index to find matches to a search and rank them in order of what it believes is most relevant.
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