Search Engines: A Beginner’s Guide – Part 2

search eng 2

In  Search Engines: Beginners Guide – Part 1, we learned the basic lingo for understanding what makes search engines work. Software robots called ‘spiders’ browse through millions and millions of web sites and pages and index important words and where they find these words. The next step in the process is building the index…or spiderweb if you really want to go with the spider thing. I don’t, so let’s stay on track.

Building the Index
A spider’s job inside search engines is never really done. They are constantly searching and combing through endless data as more and more businesses and people put information on the Internet. But putting all this information in a useful and relevant index is the tricky part. There are several different ways commercial search engines go about this; just storing the word and URL where it was found would give the user such a headache. I actually have one now just thinking about it — and I remember the old days of early search engines, eeeek. Luckily, they have evolved. Now search engines assign weight to each entry with increasing value assigned to words as they appear near the top of the document. They account for the number of times the word is located on the page and meta tags or in the title of the page. No two search engines are alike, which is why you never get the same results on different sites.

Businessman finding his way in cyberspace. Digital illustration.

Building the Search
Here is where we the users come into play. To search through the index, a query is submitted — either a single word or a combination of words using Boolean operators. These words are commands to the search engines to help single out the most relevant results you are looking for. The most common Boolean operators are ::

AND : The words being searched must be joined by the word ‘AND’
OR : At least one of the terms joined by ‘OR’ must be among the results
NOT : And word specified after ‘NOT’, must not be in the results
FOLLOWED BY : The words in the query must be directly followed by the other
NEAR : Using this operator, one of the words must be within a specified number of words of the other
“Quotation Marks” : These will create a phrase that must be found within in the results

The Final Frontier…
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Internet search engines as they evolve to meet the demands of users — we’re a tough crowd and I have a lot of expectations myself. Google is taking much out of the work of entering a query itself by predicting what you are attempting to search with suggestions. This can be a little troublesome though, when I find myself not sure of what to enter and I get carried away with the suggestions on search engines…a fun and knowledgeable waste of time, if you ask me. Or a pain when I know exactly what I want and it tosses up suggestions to sway me. Either way, I’m just glad that that progress is being made and no one is settling on basic search engines. There is far too much information out there to get lost in the crowd – – let us help you today make sure you are in the results! Contact Turn the Page Online Marketing to find out more about our services for search engines! Give us a call at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 or visit our office in Lee’s Summit.

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