What is a Search Engine?
A search engine is an internet browsing tool that allows you to search for specific pieces of information stored on the World Wide Web. These search engines are not just limited to big names such as Google, Yahoo and Bing but they tend to be the leaders in this department.
How does a Search Engine Work?
Search Engines as Crawlers
Search engines can be used for two particular functions in modern day web browsing and data capturing. Firstly search engines focus on ‘crawling’ all the relevant websites to a certain keyword and building an index from this research. This index created by the search engines will allow your web searches to be more accurate and relevant to the keyword you researched.
These ‘crawlers’ also referred to as ‘spiders’ are these automated robots that scan billions and billions of pages and documents on the internet. In order to store all the relevant data in their respective categories these search engines need enormous data centers all over the world. At these storage facilities the data is being processed by machines that can handle the quantity of the information.
Search Engines as Answer Machines
Internet users rely on search engines to serve as answer machines, giving them a variety of sources for the information they want in a matter of seconds. When an internet user is typing a keyword or sentence into Google’s search engine they know they will be provided with a variety of relevant content.
The relevance of these searches isn’t just limited to the keywords found in the content, but numerous other tactics and strategies for determining the relevancy of a particular document. Factors such as ‘interaction’ might boost the relevance of the said content because of the author’s activity and expertise within the topic field.
The History of Search Engines and Optimization
Search Engines have evolved greatly since their early days. In the early Search Engine Optimization days these search engines had submission forms to be filled in; in order to index the content. By tagging these relevant keywords and phrases website managers and bloggers were able to submit the information in order to be in the running for the search engine rankings.
As knowledge regarding search engines and their methods developed, so did the internet users’ manipulation of it. These submission quickly included spam, false keywords and tags. Search engine submission started in the late 90’s and was abandoned by the year 2001.
It is from here onwards where the focused has been on the good link building. Not only will this prove the eligibility of your content but it will lead to greater exposure of your website and work.
The Science behind Popular and Personalized Searches
As you might have realized; Google seems to know what you are looking for before you can even finish your search. Even though it feels like they are reading your mind those search results all stem from your personalized searches as well as the computer that you are searching from.
What is Personalized Search?
Personalized search was born in the Google labs during 2003 and has since become a crucial part of the Google algorithm. As a regular internet user your browser of choice, in this case Google, will collect your internet habits from browsing history, current location as well as your interaction on your social networking platforms.
When it comes to the importance of a post, it will most commonly be ranked according to the popularity of the document or content. Some articles might be as informative and helpful as others but rank much lower because the content has not be shared on the social media platforms.
As an individual your search results would then be a combination of these popular posts relating to your most searched terms, browsing history as well as the type of content that you are sharing with your friends and clients.
The Pros and Cons of Personalized Searches
Of course not everything about personalized searches can be beneficial to the user. Not only are their searches restricted in a way, but they might lose out on a range of relevant information just because previous online activity dictated it.
Another con of personalized searches is in determining your website’s ranking and position. You might be under the impression that your website is doing so well that it is ranked on the first page of your Google search, but in reality it is just displayed because you regularly search those terms or websites.
Google wants to give you the information that you are seeking at the click of a button, but what about introducing new providers or services. For them the argument lays in the fact that the relationship between you and a particular website has worked in the past so it’s likely to do so in the future.
Personalized searches are being forced onto user even if they aren’t logged into their Bing or Google accounts. When you are in fact logged on, you can change the personalization settings if you know your way around the account.
Small businesses and companies would benefit from personalization since it rewards them for their hard work in creating relevant content and interacting with their audience.
This is a guest post by Ben Parker. Ben is an occasional blogger, freelance tech writer. When not blogging he likes to travel and read a lot, especially about the evolution of internet wireless connections.