Search engines explained

We have recently seen a lot of misinformation out there in regards to search engines and how to get your website on the first page of search engine listings (especially Google).

We have had clients being told all sorts of things by other companies and it is obvious there is a lot of confusion out there as to what to believe and where to spend your money to get the best result.

Just how do search engines work?

When looking at search engines, it is best to first of all focus on Google. This is the most popular search engine and the majority of techniques used to get good rankings in Google naturally flow through to the other major search engines.

The major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN find your site using a program called a 'spider' (or sometimes referred to as a robot). These companies have spiders going out on the internet gathering data on new and existing websites 24/7. They visit websites and try to work their way through all the links of the site and read the content of the pages to work out where to index the pages in their engines.

This means that even though you can manually submit your website to a search engine to be visited by a spider, most of the time the spider will find your website as long as it is being linked to by another website that has already been found.

Once your site is found, the spider uses complex algorithms to try and determine which keywords and phrases suit your pages and where they should be ranked for each of these keywords and phrases. Spiders will often keep re-visiting sites to ensure their indexes are up to date.

Getting your website into the search engine is the easy part (and as you can see is usually automatic anyway). The hard part is getting your site ranking well for the search engine terms that your potential customers are using. Our research and experience has enabled us to put together the following tips that are proven methods of increasing your search engine rankings:

  • Ensure that your website code is search engine friendly and that all pages are optimised for your desired keywords.
  • Regularly add new content (such as newsletters or articles). Articles with content relating to the products or services you sell and that contain phrases used by people searching help greatly.
  • Be patient. It can take months for your website to get good rankings no matter what you do.
  • Don't be tempted to throw hundreds of dollars at Google Adwords and other paid search engine advertising unless you are sure you are going to get a good return on investment.
  • Only link to websites that are related or complimentary to your industry. Always ensure that when you link to someone they link back to your site too.
  • Be wary of companies that offer a guarantee to get you on the first page. Often the small print will mean that they only need to get you on the first page for a non-competitive search phrase which in reality is not going to bring any new business.

At Mantis Technologies we have a variety of packages that can ensure you get the best possible rankings for your website. For more information, please visit our Search Engine Optimisation page.