Search Rankings Demystified

Posted on: February 11th, 2014 by G8xkOJ7eP9a

bigstock-Search-Engine-Background-Conce-7142998The search engine has become the primary method of finding information, goods and services the world over. The means by which these search engines list the relevant results of a given search query determines which sites see the most traffic. These two facts together are the reason that improving a website’s search ranking is so important to the success of a business, be it online or in a brick and mortar location. In order to get the best possible search rankings, it is important to understand how those rankings are derived.

How Search Engines Find Your Site

Before your site can be found on a search engine, that search engine needs to know it exists. This happens in one of two ways. The primary way that a site gets listed is when a web crawler, or spider, program discovers it by following a link from another site. Most websites are discovered this way, and the more often a spider stumbles on to your site via a link from another site, the better it is for you. This will be discussed in more detail in a moment. The second way a search engine can learn about your site’s existence is for it to be directly submitted by you or a third party. This second method is less common, and does nothing to improve your site’s ranking. You may find services offering to submit your website to hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of search engines for a fee, however, this is often a waste of money, as according to recent studies, more than 98% of searches are done on one of the ten largest search engines.

How Your Site Gets Ranked

There are two important things that affect the ranking your site receives in a search engine’s listing. The first is the content of your page, which includes the real content that users see as well as the metatags attached in the scripts. The spiders mentioned above do more than just follow links, they also read and analyze your page to determine what it is about. In the early days of the Internet theses spiders were not especially intelligent. They would often do as little as count the number of times a word or phrase appears (referred to as keyword density) on a given page and use that to determine its relevance to a give search query. This is why you will still find many pages with a ridiculous density of keyword phrases. An example might be a site dedicated to selling baseball cards. In order to improve its search rankings, it would use the phrase “baseball cards for sale” as often as possible, leading to content that was difficult to read and nearly devoid of real information.

Spider programs have grown more sophisticated as the Internet evolved, and, although it is still a factor, keyword density has become less important. In order to be ranked highly in most major search engines your site needs to be linked. Whenever a spider follows a link to your site, your site gets a vote. The more times a spider finds your site through a link, the more votes you get. The sites with the highest number of votes appear first in the list of search results.

How does one get more sites to link to them? The best way is to provide meaningful content. If your site’s content is unique and helpful to readers, they are more likely to link to you on their own sites, blogs or social media hubs. Finding a balance between keyword density and quality content can be difficult. That is where SEO services, or search engine optimization services, come in. Companies like Net Advantage Media have the experience and training to create content that is readable, keyword effective and worth reading, and therefore linking to.

We at Net Advantage Media pride ourselves on our ability to create content that will improve your search engine visibility. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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