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The Goal of Search Engines & How They Work

Search Engine Relevancy
Many people think search engines have a hidden agenda. This simply is not true. The goal of the search engine is to provide high quality content to people searching the Internet.

Search engines with the broadest distribution network sell the most advertising space. Currently, Google is considered the search engine with the best relevancy. Their technologies power the bulk of web search.

The Problem Listing a New Site
The biggest problem new web sites have is that search engines have no idea they exist. Even when a search engine finds a new document, it has a hard time determining its quality. Search engines rely on links to help determine the quality of a document. Some engines, such as Google, also trust web sites more as they age.

The following bits may contain a few advanced search topics. It is fine if you do not necessarily understand them right away. The average webmaster does not need to know search technology in depth but some might be interested in it. (more…)

Social Interaction and Links

Where to Get Links

  • Create content or ideas which important people can identify with and would likely link at.
  • Directories may link to sites you submit.
  • You can exchange links with similar web sites. If you can afford to, it is better to create legitimate business partnerships and friendships rather than just exchange links with whoever is willing.
  • Writing articles about your topic and placing them on other web sites can give you inbound links via the article signature. If you submit articles to other sites, you may want to create unique content just for the article submission sites or have a longer or different version of the article on your site so that you are not fighting against duplicate content issues when others syndicate your articles.
  • Writing press releases can give you inbound links.
  • You can participate in forums which provide signature links. If you participate in communities and leave relevant, useful comments then eventually people may want to link to you if they start to like you.
  • Buy links or rent advertising space.
  • Donate to charities for links.
  • People interested in your site may eventually link to you without you asking.
    Generally, this is where SEO battles are either won or lost in competitive markets.

Generally, the easier and cheaper the link is to get, the less a search engine will want to trust it. Getting other people to want to talk about you or your business (and link to you) is the golden egg of SEO.

Search engines want to count legitimate editorial citations. They would prefer not to count other types of links as votes. Some engines, such as Google, have advanced algorithms to find and discount many artificial links.
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Building Content for SEO

Same Old Stuff

Creating an extremely useful web-based tool, or paying a programmer to create one for you, is one of the most effective ways to build content which will, in turn, help you build natural linkage data. Writing articles will also help you build up your link popularity.

Many web sites blindly add large sums of free content to their site because they think it will help them for low cost. The problems with adding exact copies of low quality articles are the following:

  1. Since the articles exist elsewhere, yours probably will not rank as well as one of the other copies on the web.
  2. Low quality content reflects poorly on you and wastes your link equity that could be going toward getting unique content pages ranked.
  3. Many people add unfocused garbage to their site which loses the interest of their visitors.
  4. Some unscrupulous parties copy the contents of other web sites without asking. Tools such as CopyScape make this easy to detect, although legal enforcement is cost prohibitive and too time consuming for most publishers.
  5. Many tools scrape various RSS feeds and mix them to create many content pages. Content generation tools such as these will require search engines to place even greater trust on linkage data.

Some people also clutter up the Internet with search result screen scrapers and other auto content generation crap. SEO Experts are generally against generating low quality automated content as they feel it lowers the quality and functionality of the web as a whole, though it seems that some people may find it effective for generating traffic, at least until their sites get banned. (more…)