A search engine is a tool that people use to find and discover information on the internet.
You type some words into a search box, click a button and the search engine looks for pages in it’s database (also called the Index).
It’s looking for pages that relate to your search. The Search Engine then runs a tool over the results (the algorithm) and it’s this process that decides which site is at the top, which is at the bottom and where all the other sites fit in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
If you find the terminology confusing, you can use my SEO Glossary of Terms where I’ve tried to explain this in plain English.
You can also watch a Google Video called “How Search Works” for more information.
Although the most popular search engine is Google – used by about 90% of web users, other search engines do exist. Bing and Yahoo are the other big players but there’s also Ask, Ecosia, Duck Duck Go, Wolfram Alpha and many more.
Each of them has something to recommend them.
- Ask! was designed to answer questions.
- Duck Duck Go appeals to people concerned about their privacy because unlike Google, Bing & Yahoo they don’t track you.
- Wolfram Alpha is a more technical tool used by scientists and mathematicians. It has been developed to answer questions related to these topics.
Only about 50% of search engine users ever go further than the 1st page of results. As a consequence, it’s vital that your website features on Page 1 if you’re to maximise the number of visits to your site and generate the sales/enquiries/opportunities that your business needs.
There’s a lot of things that you can do to influence this – this is called SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and that’s one of the services that I provide. Find out more by getting in touch for a free chat about your business, your website and your search results.