The Magic and Mystery of Google: How Search Engines Find Your Website
Posted On June 28, 2023
There are 1,208,097,165 websites online as I write this. Google now processes more than 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to more than 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 billion searches per year worldwide.*
So when customers ask how they can be found at the top of search results, it’s not necessarily a simple answer.
SEO is simply the practice of optimizing a site so that it appears prominently within organic search results.
There is a lot to write about SEO, but the important thing to keep in mind, since we are talking about search engines and Google, is that they want to show users the results that best match their query, and they know all the tricks.
Some companies’ tactics will focus on trying to fool search engine algorithms and go against SEO guidelines. You just shouldn’t do it. For example, you can’t copy and paste entire pages of content and think it will give you an SEO boost. Search engines look for copies and duplicates.
In other words, if you want people to find your website, if you want search engines to serve your site for queries, it’s as simple as making sure your website matches that search term.
SEO is an ongoing investment. It is not a single step, a project and done.
Slow and steady wins the race, but a good SEO partner will show you gains in the first few months. As an example, a client with a small consulting company recently contracted with us and experienced a 260% increase in traffic after the third month.
Understanding how Google and other search engines work is a good start.
Search engines follow links from one page to another. Google consists of a crawler, an index, and an algorithm.
Google’s crawler surfs the Internet 24/7 and stores the HTML version of web pages in a massive database, known as an index. The index is updated if Google’s crawlers reach your website and find new or revised web pages.
Depending on the site traffic of your site and the number of changes you make to it, Google crawlers appear more (or less) frequently. That’s why you need fresh content.
Many companies put up their website and leave it. It’s not enough to have a website, you need fresh content at regular intervals.
First of all, for search engines like Google to know that your website exists, there must be a link to your site from another site, one that is already in the index. Once a search engine crawler follows the link, it will lead to the first crawl session on your website and the first time your site is saved to the index.
Congratulations… Your site has now been “indexed”! From then on, your website could appear in Google search results. Note the word “might.”
Understanding the Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
If your site is showing on pages beyond the second page, chances are people won’t find your site, or as one joker put it: the best place to hide a body is after page 2 of the search results! Google!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to a series of coordinated steps that increase the chance of your website showing on the search engine results page (SERP). People also refer to this SERP presence as organic rankings. The presence in the SERP of terms important to your organization leads to more traffic and leads from your website.
While the organization does not pay for every website visitor from organic search results, it takes ongoing effort and time to optimize the website for top rankings.
The algorithm that Google uses is top secret
No one knows exactly what factors determine the order in search results. The Google algorithm is constantly changing. While they don’t reveal all their mysteries, they do tell us what is important to us so that our websites can be found.
The importance of links
How do Google and other search engines use links to show your website in searches? The more relevant links a specific site has, the more important search engines think it is. That applies to both internal links (those coming from the same website) and external links from other websites.
A good balance of high-value backlinks, quality content, and relevant information will result in the highest possible ranking.
Backlinks from authoritative websites with many inbound links are generally more beneficial than links from smaller websites that have only a few inbound links. That’s why active link building is part of any good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Return of investment
SEO generally has a very high ROI because people using search engines have high purchase intent. Visitors have already indicated their interest by searching for keywords that match your business, service, or product category.
SEO typically appears as one of the lowest-cost sources of leads in annual surveys of marketers.
Since data like this can often make even my eyes glaze over, I’ll end with an interesting fact about Google.
Do you know that its original name in 1996 was BackRub? True story.
In 1997 the name Google was born, a pun on the word “googol,” which is a mathematical term for the number represented by the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. You probably knew that part!
*To see how quickly these numbers change, check out the live Internet statistics on new websites, one by one as they increase. Crazy huh? Check out more mind-blowing facts.