What is SEO and how do search engines work?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process that sends signals to the search engines, such as Google and Bing, to tell them that a website it worth looking at and they should rank it above others. This is a process that can be repeated over and over and can also be measured and it is an integral part of SEM or search engine marketing.

There are three stages to how a search engine works: the first is the crawling stage in which the search engine sends out “crawlers” to find the billions of web pages on the Internet. The second is called indexing where the search engine analyzes and stores the content it found on those webpages and the third stage is retrieval where the content is then made available to the user.

The “crawler” is an automated bot that looks at each webpage and links the information it finds to information on other webpages and it then crawls back out again for more information and links that information too. The crawler then goes back to a website it has already visited to see if there is any new content so it is a never-ending process.

Indexing is when the search engine takes all information it got from the crawlers and puts it into a huge database.

Retrieval is what the Internet user actually sees, which is simply the search engine displaying the most relevant information that it has indexed to the user’s query by listing the websites in order of ranking.

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