Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation

introduction to search engine optimisation

Most of us have a basic idea of how a search engine works but here is an introduction to Search Engine Optimisation, you type in your search term for whatever it is you want to find, and your search engine of choice displays thousands of results for web pages which might help you find what you’re looking for.

But have you ever thought how exactly that works? Where do those results come from? Here is a brief introduction to how the search engine finds those pages and displays the ones most relevant to your query.

How a Search Engine Works

Search engines like Google work using a software called spiders. These spiders ‘crawl’ the pages on each website and index these pages into relevant categories. Links on each webpage lead the spiders to the next page, and then the next, and the next until there are millions of indexed pages put into categories ready to be displayed for your search term.

The search engine will display the results for your search term with a title and a brief snippet of some of the text from the webpage so you can decide if this is the information you’re looking for. Sometimes the best site will not be at the top due to the Google Dance.

If you’re a business trying to optimise your own content, it’s important to make sure you link your webpages together. This should be as clear as possible to make it easy for the spiders to find and index all of your pages.

Take a look at this video from Google. He explains a little more about how your search term is converted into results. It also gives an introduction to Search Engine Optimisation:

As you can see, finding relevant results for your search query is a complex process. It takes place in less than a second, so it’s difficult to understand it all straight away. But if your business is looking at getting into search engine optimisation to promote your brand and content (which all businesses should be!), the best way to start is by learning a bit more about how the search engine works.

What did you think of this post? Are you using search engine optimisation to promote your business?

If you found this information helpful, please don’t hesitate to share it!

Since producing this article I have found another video that I felt needed to be shared on this page. Over the year I have watched and seen hundreds (if not thousands) of videos explaining how SEO works and how Google sorts the rankings. This video below I feel is very direct and straight to the point explaining this in very easy terms:

The video as you can see explains the Introduction to Search Engine Optimisation can be very simple. Although many SEO gurus complicate the Google search and SEO techniques the basics of this are easy to understand. Then you can actually start to appreciate why some websites might outrank others.

At fatrank we are here to try and make the explanation as simple as possible. If you have any comments on this please do not hesitate to tweet myself on @james_dooley. Also, comment below where we can engage and answer any questions.

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James Dooley

About James Dooley

Digital Nomad who loves travelling the world networking while working on my laptop. Life is a perception of your own reality. You have no excuses and should be making memories every single day #LearnSomethingNew #Develop #Synergy #Network


  • Best information on SEO.

  • Jorge Barna says:

    My first google search was “Premier League Fixtures”

    The first website that comes up is the official premier league website, I think this is because they own this, this website should be top. They want the people who are into football to come on to the official website. The second website that came up on the search results was BBC Sport which surprised me as I thought Sky Sports would be next due to them having rights to broadcast premier league games. Sky Sports and BBC Sport are both places where people can find the latest football and other sports news, so I can see why they have both came up at the top of the search results.

    The Second search I did was “Best films on Netflix”

    After entering this into google, the first website that comes up is that radio times, this is a website that gives you the TV channel listings. I think this is the top result because this is a website a lot of people will be using to find out what is on each channel. The second website was called digital trends which is what I was expecting. I thought a website like this would have been top of the search results as Netflix is an online service, whereas radio times is more for the traditional channels on TV.

  • Ryan Nixon says:

    The internet operates on such a huge scale that it allows to cover the bases for so much more than we could. Having searched Premier League fixtures I was brought every premier league fixture within a second and if that as a process doesn’t amaze you then I don;t know what will. And along with this wealth of data came the same wealth of data from different sources ie BBC Sport and Sky Sports to incorporate different preferences of the user ie writing styles, preference in newspaper/media outlet in this case. Also one of the patterns in the algorithms for multiple google searches in different topics was that the most popular company at the time would come at the top. Another thing counted was location, having searched “buying furniture” into Google the nearest furniture dealerships were shown to me which again connotes the wealth of data with which Google has at it’s disposal. Operating on such a broad scale that we can go and whatever we want and overall what makes it count is the convenience. The entire plethora that is the google database can all be accessed at the touch of a button which has escalated people to be able to run businesses and everything about them eg accounts, admin and manufacturing from your phone in your pocket. The other pattern I noticed was the use of key words and phrases to drive your search to to the top of it’s ranking table. In some instances a less popular company would be placed ahead of a larger brand simply because of it’s precise choice of words in the little section below the link. Their is an accuracy here needed to create the fine margins that put you ahead of your competitors.

  • Josh Stark says:

    So after doing some research for “Game Console” and “Phone” I found this out:

    The most popular brands appear at the top. I think this is because of how big the fan base is for both gaming consoles and phones are massive brands such as Microsoft and Apple make these websites gain a large amount of traffic and trust meaning Google puts this at the top because the majority of people searching this want these products.

    There are videos of the trailer for the products and people reviewing these products. This is because if customers want a more in-depth review rather then a description before making an investment of the size you pay for these products.

    The top results are all from the brand selling the product or competitors that and close behind or above them. This is because other similar products gain a lot of traffic so are advertised below however they still being a lot therefore if people maybe want a cheaper alternative or maybe a different style then they would browse other brands selling similar products. In common i would say that the brand both have a large following.

    Companies like Apple and Microsoft are rated the highest as the have proved they’re a reliable product and have the majority share in the market meaning that when new people come to see which brand they want they go with the most trusted normally being the one with the one with the biggest following.

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