What is a Search Engine?
While technically a search engine is an online index of millions of websites. One can use this index for finding any information. However, we (Indians) have another definition of a search engine. You ask anyone what a search engine is? Their answer will be – Google is a search engine. Well, there’s nothing wrong with it either. As a matter of fact, Google name is synonymous with the internet itself. How? Indians say, ‘search it on Google’ instead of ‘search it on the internet’. Yes, that’s the impact of Google/Search Engine/Internet on us today! People rely on and trust the information provided by Google and that’s what Google excels at i.e. providing the most valuable information in the blink of an eye.
The process of searching:
For instance, if you search ‘Planets in solar system’, search engine’s crawlers will one by one look for the terms in the keyword in the website present in search engine’s index. The crawlers will check the following elements:
- Title of the web page
- URL of the web page
- Text content
- Heading tags
- Any hyperlinks which are further linking to some relevant content.
- And few more.
A web page with the search terms included in the above-mentioned elements will have a higher weighting. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you can simply stuff the web page with the keywords. Google is smart enough to understand the content and other elements. This is what we call search engine optimization. That is, optimizing a web page in order to make it easier to understand for the search engine. But there’s a trick. Search Engines focus on optimizing the search results for Google, providing the improved user-experience day by day. Therefore, while optimizing a website, you must have the user-first approach, i.e. optimizing the web pages for users instead of search engines.
Challenges Faced by Search Engines
Search Engines like Google use advanced algorithms for fetching the best information and putting in the front of the user with the order of their quality and relevance. Search engines have to work a lot on providing the most relevant results in the blink of an eye. For keywords like ‘travel’, you will find 3,35,00,00,000 searches in less than a second. Insane, isn’t it?
Just to give you an idea, what Google has to go through:
Whenever someone is looking for any information they go to search engine i.e. Google. The query could be:
- Literally for an information like ‘What is a search engine?’, ‘How to cook chicken?’, ‘What is Amitabh Bachchan’s age?’
- As complex as ‘What is the global market size of cloud computing?’
- As stupid as ‘How to get pregnant’
- As honest as ‘How to kiss’
That’s not it. There are many other challenges faced by Google in order to show relevant search results. For example, Jaguar is an animal as well as a supercar. When a user search ‘buy jaguar’ how Google is able to show the results related to Jaguar car, not the animal? This is one of the many examples of the challenges faced by the search engines. And how does Google manage all this? The answer is good quality content.
Challenges Faced by the Website Owners
Since there are millions of people using the search engines for finding the information, product or services, it’s clear that there are numerous opportunities for the business owners to grow online. And this level of opportunities has led to a tough competition. Only those can expect business from search engines who are ranking on the top results of search results. Unfortunately, unlike the old days, to rank a website at the top is not an easy task anymore. Now it’s not just limited to adding the keywords in the title, URL, content and creating lots of backlinks. Now, you literally have to get into the nerve of your prospects for preparing to optimize your website for search engines (We mean users!)