You may surely know what a search engine is. But do you know how it actually works? And what are the secrets of websites ranking that everybody is not aware of!
Working of a search engine is not very simple. There are a lot of elements and components involved in the process or searching websites on the World Wide Web.
Most of you would be well familiar with this term. But in this article I will take your knowledge, to the extent where you will be able to practically apply this on your own websites. In order to understand SEO, we should get to know basic mechanism of search engines.
Search Engine Mechanism
There are a great number of web pages on the World Wide Web. It’s a complete cluster of files, documents, text, images, videos and a lot more. Basically a search engine, shuffles the web pages to find the most relevant information on the web when you submit a search request entering a query, word, phrase etc. There are many components of a search engine that help in it’s working, from indexing the sites to their proper ranking. But there are three main component parts which are necessary to study and understand.
Spider or Crawler
Imagine a spider crawling its web in search of some prey. In the same way, a search engine spider crawls the web for pages, once it finds a page, it reads it in a specific manner which will be explained in further topics, and then follows the hyperlinks within that page linking it to other web pages. These pages maybe related to this website, or may redirect to some other websites. This crawler never stop crawling the webpages, and it comes back to same web page after some time, to check for any updates of data and content.
Just like a dictionary contains words and their meaning, Index of a search engine acts in the same way, storing the web pages, that are crawled. These pages are updated on regular basis as they are crawled regularly.
In this way spider and index are linked together, A webpage will not be indexed until it is crawled.
Search Engine Software
Things are not much difficult till getting the webpages indexed. Complexities arise in ranking web pages properly. This program goes through the index, searching for the most suitable page that resembles with the search request submitted by you.
Now you maybe thinking that there would be a number of web pages containing similar information and content. So how does a search engine software gives priority to one webpage over another web page?
This is called a web page’s search engine ranking. A webpage can be indexed in a search engine by submitting a request to that search engine. But that webpage will never come to top of the priority lists or simply its ranking will never go high unless it is properly optimized.
There are a number of factor involved in search engine ranking, and there are a lot of things considered by a search engine software when it searching for a query.
So if you want your webpage to leave behind all the competitors and go top of the list. You should have all the basic knowledge regarding proper search engine optimization, which is going to be discussed now. But before moving onto the types, you should have clear concepts about keywords and how they are basis of SEO.
What are Keywords?
Before starting your website’s optimization, you need to think of a main keyword for your website. Taking this keyword along the whole procedure of optimization, you will bring your website to the top rankings for that specific keyword.
Remember one thing, choosing a keyword that provides large number of results in a search engine is similar to jumping through multiple hurdles in a single take. Always chose a keyword, where competition is not tough and there are less results for that keyword. To find how much results google comes up with for a search, just take a look at the figure at the top of all search results. Once you choose a keyword for your webpage, whatever optimization you do, will involve this keyword everywhere.
I know it is a bit difficult to understand for beginners, but as you read further, you will get your concepts more clear!
Types of Search Engine Optimization
There are two types of search engine optimization techniques that should be followed to lift up a website’s ranking. First is the Onpage SEO which is the most basic one.
1. Onpage Search Engine Optimization
Those of our readers that have basic SEO knowledge already must have visualized of what I am going to explain now. Onpage SEO, as it’s name represents is a type of SEO in which those factors are involved which are related to the elements on a webpage.
As I explained earlier in the search engine working that it’s the Search Engine software that goes through the web pages in it’s directory and it is responsible for ranking of websites. This software scans the source code of a page in a specific manner. And there are some elements in a webpage that are studied by this software, which are listed below:
The page title should include only our main keywords. It is better to keep least amount of words in the title, so a search engine will give more weight to each keyword and higher you will rank.
Never stuff you title with a lot of keywords, repeating them again and again. This is called spamming in SEO and may have bad results. Try combining your keywords when possible, to cut down the total number of words that you have in your title.
<h1> Header Tag
Next, you have to add an
<h1> header tag in your source code and add your main keyword within the h1 tags. This tag should be as far towards the top left hand side of your webpage as possible. This kind of placement has it’s importance because when a search engine software reads a webpage, it scans from the top left side to the bottom right side of a webpage.
<h2> Header Tag
After you have properly placed our
<h1> header tag, it’s time to move onto
<h2> header tag which behaves like a sub-heading. It is most suitable to place
<h2> tag within the top half of your webpage. This tag should contain your second most important keywords.
Again, I would say that to be safe, don’t use too much keywords as a whole in your webpage. Include one of your keywords in 1-2 paragraphs.
Keywords Basic Styling
Once you have written our page completely, go though it bolding, italicizing and underlining some of the keywords only single time each. Only do one per keyword or It will have negative effect instead of helping you.
<img> alt Attribute
Finally add the value of your
<img> tag alt attribute as your main keyword on the top left image, as it is your logo or header usually. Select few more images and name their alt tags as your secondary keywords. Don’t forget to add the word graphics, image etc. to ensure that the search engine does not take it is Search Engine SPAM.
Above factors help your search engine ranking to go several hundreds of positions above your competitors, who does not have properly optimized webpages. So in short, taking care of these few Onpage factors, you beat your close competitors. But how will you boost your rankings, and out optimize the websites that you can’t defeat with just Onpage SEO?
This is the moment where you have to step forward to Offpage Search Engine Optimization.
2. Offpage Search Engine Optimization
Offpage optimization basically consists of all of the ranking factors that are not located on your web page that the search engine software looks at when ranking a website.
To achieve top ranking, we have to analyze what the top most ranked websites are doing. We want to give search engines exactly what they want, by Offpage optimizing our website as close to the top ranked websites as possible. But again, we have to do it one step forward to achieve much better rankings.
To analyze the top ranked websites, you have to make a google search of your main keyword and pick the websites you think have good rankings. Pick up few websites and start researching on their Offpage SEO factors.
In Offpage there are a lot of factors involved, which are all explained below. Basically it is all about websites linking to your own website.
Websites Linking to You
You have to make other websites link to your website but there are a lot of things to be taken care about the websites that link to you.
To check which websites are linking to the top ranked websites, go to enter following in search bar.
Number of websites Linking to You
When you use the above mentioned query in search, you will get all the websites that contain the link you mention in it in the search results. To see the search results, take a look at the top of all the searches for the amount of results google comes up with.
If you are analyzing a website, then note down this factor.
Google Page Rank of Websites Linking to You
From the search results, you must check out google page rank of the top most websites. You can find google page rank of a site in google toolbar.
Google Page rank is simply google’s way of displaying how important a web page is. Google assumes that when one webpage links to another webpage, it actually casts a vote for that web page. The more votes you have for your web page. The more important your webpage will be.
Google also takes into account the importance of other websites’ pages linking to your own webpage i.e their own google page rank.
In short, websites linking to your webpage having high page rank give more positive effect on your ranking as compared to those websites that have comparatively low google page rank.
Page Title of the Website Linking to You
The page title of websites that link to your website should include your main keyword in it. You have to try to get those websites link to you having one of your main keywords in their page title.
Anchor Text Used in the Link Linking to You
Anchor text is the text within
<a> link tags used on a website to link to your web page. Just like page title, this text should also resemble to your website’s main keywords.
If the anchor text is same as your main keyword, this will help a lot in increasing your ranks for that keyword.
Number of Links Linking to Website Linking to You
There are two types of links. Inbound Links and Outbound Links. Inbound links are those links which link pages within your website to each other. On the other hand, Outbound Links are those pointing to websites other than pages within that website.
Summing up the inbound and outbound links, find the total links present on that website. You have to try to get links from web pages that have as few total links as possible on the page.
Whether or not Your Partner Websites Are Deemed by Google as Authority Websites
Google views those websites as authority websites that are ranked high in search engines, contain lots of content and have high Page Ranks.
You can use a hub finder tool to find these authority websites. You will get it easily by a little searching. Enter around ten top domain names for your main keyword and you will get all the common websites that link to each of the top ranked websites you had entered. Those websites are possible hubs or authority sites.
You should try to get these hubs to link to your site to get a big increase in your ranking!
IP Address of the Web Pages Linking to You
A search engine gives priority to websites that have links on many IP addresses rather than many links all on the same IP address.
Just imagine, if a search engine ignores this factor, you could simply create multiple websites with thousands of pages and link their pages with each other. You would then have thousands of links pointing to your website, which would probably result in a great increase in your ranking.
To find this search for a Bulk IP Address finder and enter all the link partners of website you are analyzing.
Out Optimize High Ranked Websites
I know that understanding Offpage SEO is not that easy. But if you read all the factors very carefully multiple times, you will get a very clear concept of how you can reach high ranks in search engines.
A simple technique of achieving your goal is to analyze a few top ranked websites for your main keyword. Note down all their Onpage and Offpage SEO factors. Try hard to copy exactly what they are doing. But to get one step forward, do your SEO a little better to one up them and obtain a better ranking.
Onpage SEO factors can be analyzed easily. But to find Offpage factors of your competitors more easily you will need some kind of tools for your ease. Remember, you will need to have atleast some budget for this task. Still if you can’t spend on buying some tools, search for some free tools which can be easily found. They will give you details related to SEO for the website you require.
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