1.04 Introduction to search engines
The major search engines, there are about ten that
are important, all work on words. To search, you send a string of
words to your chosen search engine. The search engine simply returns
a list of web pages, each of which contains all the words in your
How do the search engines know which pages to return? They maintain
huge indexes of all the words from billions of web pages. As I write
the Google index holds over four billion web pages. Each search
engine continually sends out robot indexing programs to visit and
check for changes on all the pages they know about and to
follow links to new sites and additional pages.
Not images, not pretty colours
The search engines may take note that a page has images or whizzy
graphics, pretty coloured text or an interesting background - but
only as something hanging around with what they are really interested
The search engines don't see the visible information contained in
an image they just collect the text visible around it. They
will take an interest in the sizes and colours you use for the information
on your pages but only to be sure that visitors can see the
same words they do. At one time it was possible to hide text and
so cheat the search engines by defining white text on a white background
or black on black.
Most of the search engines have a form where you can submit the
address of your web site. They prefer, however, to think that they
have found your site themselves. The best way to get yourself added
to their indexes is to have an incoming link from another site that
is already listed.
Ensuring your pages appear
To ensure that your pages appear in the list of results when someone
searches for vet in yourtown then the words vet
and yourtown have to appear together as words
not pictures on at least one of your pages. If they appear
in an important part of your page like the title. If they
appear more than once on a page. If they appear together on more
than one page on your site then your pages are more likely
to appear high up in the list of web pages returned when someone
searches for vet in yourtown.
This the essential essence of the way search
engines work. Let's apply this to the content you put online for
your potential clients.
© Vetlist Ltd 2004
We welcome your comments, criticism and questions.
here to e-mail us