Search Engine Optimization - How the Search Engines Decide Rankings


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Every successful search engine optimization specialist knows that a good page ranking depends largely on an understanding of how search engines decide the rankings for pages. I think that understanding begins with knowing exactly what the search engine is trying to accomplish.

It is the purpose of every search engine to return page results that are highly relevant to the user’s keyword or keyword phrase inquiry. It is also their purpose to return these results rapidly. Users of search engines expect these two criteria to be met, and if they are not, then they will turn to other, more reliable search engines.

Search engines accomplish their purpose in two ways. First, they search the web on regular intervals collecting website information and storing that information in their databases. That database information is then indexed, and the index is used to return the stored information rapidly. Second, the search engines use very complex algorithms to determine the relevancy of a website to the user’s request. That relevancy determines the search engine ranking for that website.

It is not possible to know exactly how each search engine’s algorithm works, but we do know that they evaluate such things as how the keywords and keyword phrases are used in the domain name, page titles, meta tags, and content. We also know that they look for and evaluate spamming techniques. Relevancy is usually rewarded, and spamming is usually penalized. These rewards and penalties are typically reflected in the search engine rankings.

Position your website for success by taking the following steps. First, keep your keywords and keyword phrases relevant. Second, avoid using unscrupulous techniques. Finally, submit your website information to major search engines when you are ready for them to be considered by the search engines.

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