by Ing. Roberto Grassi
Some studies made about search engines say:
The latest estimate of web pages on the
World Wide Web: more than 8 billion and growing.
People who spend five or more hours a week
online spend 70% of their time searching for information.
85-90% of all Internet users rely on search
engines to locate sites.
Less than 10% of Internet users look past
the first three pages of search results.
What all this means ?
If you want to have a hugely successful web
site, you should do your best to get into the first three pages
of as many search engines as possible. This article is about
understanding search engines optimization so that you can better utilize your
time to reach this goal.
Let's go to analyze how search engines are built. Search engines
have three major components:
The first is a software program, called with
a creepy name like spider or robot, which crawl around the
web and visit web pages. These robots take that information
to their home base: the database.
The database is something like a catalog and
contains a copy of every single page that the robot scans.
When a robot returns to your website and scans your website
it will update the catalog. However, the reality is that in
many search engines, the database does not index all the
pages that the robot scans. Therefore, if you see in your
tracking logs that a robot has visited and requested certain
pages, this doesn't mean that those pages have been indexed.
It is best to search the search engine for your URLs in
order to verify if they are indexed or not.
The third component is the Ranking
mechanism. This is the algorithm that matches the web
surfer's keywords with the pages in the database and comes
up with matches. These matches are then displayed on the
surfer's screen. The higher you are displayed in the
surfer's window, the better your chances are of being found.
These are the common denominators among the different major
search engines. As the search engines are owned by different
companies, their robots are tweaked differently.
Here is how they are tweaked:
1. The Robots
All the robots "deep crawl", which means that
they crawl several layers into your website. Some search engines "Instant Indexes", which means that the
information is put into the database of websites within days.
All other search engines take longer so that you will need to
wait after you have submitted your URL to the search engine.
Many search engines cannot crawl nor index frame pages. It is
possible to circumvent the problems with framed pages of some
search engines by using the <NOFRAMES> tag but it's better
to avoid frames all together.
If you have an image map as one of your main pages for links to
other areas of your website, you will have problems indexing
your pages with some search engine robots: they cannot follow
the links in an image map.
All robots will read your robot.txt file if present.
If you have Meta Robot Tags in your code not all search engines
robots can read it. Google, for example, may not support
Work hard (and smart) to have as many well regarded websites
linked to yours, known as Link Popularity. Link Popularity is
extremely important because all search engines can determine how
many links are going to and from your page. Some decide to
"index or not" based on this attribute of your website. If you
do this, then you can be rewarded by some search engines' robots
deep crawling your website and therefore indexing more of your
Many search engines, and the number is growing, see this with
the rationale that if there are many links connected to a page,
then it must be of more importance. This is becoming a popular
tweaking among the programming of many robots.
2. The Database At The Home Base
All of the major search engines' databases will
index the full body text. There may be certain words missing
that are called "stop" words. These stop words are words that
many robots skip in order to move faster. Not all robots will
skip the same words of course and there are some that does not
Concerning your meta tags, all search engines index Meta
Keywords except few. Additionally, all robots will index Meta
Descriptions but the importance they are giving to this tags for
ranking is decreasing.
If you have alt tags for your images on your pages that are
being indexed then, some search engines will read and index them
but others will not.
Any comment tags that you have in your web page code can only be
read by very few robots.
If you're hoping that your Meta Tags will boost
your ranking for all search engines, this is not the case.
Although all major search engines robots read and index meta
tags, only few do give a boost to meta tags.
The important shift has been toward Link Popularity. As stated
earlier, this is an important point to several search engines
insofar as indexing is concerned. Additionally, it is also important in Ranking. Getting as many links of good sites
linking to yours is an important point with all search engines.
Chose descriptive keywords to reflect the content. Have great
content and a really good TITLE and Meta Keyword Description
that entice people to click on your link when it comes up in a
search, then you win points with a growing number of search
The height of the boost depends on the number of people who
click on your link.
One point to remember is that search engines, like most
entities, change. The information you are reading is current now but
changes in both, climate and search engine tweaking are always
in the air.