Search engines are how many of us find what we need online these days, but what we are looking for isn’t always how those search engines see their world. As people, we are just looking for products or services. We want things that make our lives more fulfilled, enjoyable and easier. Whether you like looking at photos of cats or need a new sink for the bathroom, you’re likely browsing for something that satisfies what you need.
Search engines don’t look at web pages like that. They are looking for the text content of the page and what other sources point to the webpage. The photos, graphics and other visual content are likely ignored by the search engine, which that is often what people are most drawn to.
So how does a search engine find what you’re looking for?
Search Engines Can Only Read Text
Search engines find what you are looking for by looking at the HTML behind a webpage, along with the written content on the page. What the search engine is looking for, when you enter a search, is how well the exact words you chose lineup within that webpage. If the information you typed is prevalent in the text or hidden in the HTML, then the search engine will likely highlight that page and bring it to your attention.
Of course, some aspects make a search result show up higher in the list of returned pages, based on algorithms built into the search engine. That’s where SEO, Search Engine Optimization, comes in. By writing content, or developing the web page, with SEO in mind, then you can make search engines retrieve those pages above others that are similar.
Links Leading to Pages
One of the things that search engines rely heavily on, is where links to a page show up. The more links that a page has in different places, on other sites or sources, the higher it will rank that page. Those links serve as something similar to a vote, each link that leads back to a page is another vote for why that page is popular or important. That importance elevates it in the search results because the search engine believes that proof of the site’s relevance to your search.
When you’re working to improve traffic to a web page, it’s important to think like a search engine. Develop great content with a strong text background, find directories that can add the site to their list, get friends and similar pages to reference your links and before you know it you’ll have more traffic on your page than you can handle.