Search Engine Optimization For Dummies


Search engines are a vital part of our lives. We spend every day searching for answers and information to help increase our knowledge but how many of us actually know how it works? Today I am going to teach you the basics of how search engines work.

Search engines have two major functions:

  1. Crawling and Indexing
  2. Providing the answers

What is crawling and indexing you may ask? Well there are little automatic robots called “crawlers” or as some people call “spiders.” You input your keywords to the search engine and these little things will crawl ALL OVER the world-wide web, following links from page to page. Below is a video that shows what these “spiders” would like and do if they were real.

So once these “spiders” find the pages, the code is deciphered and stored into massive hard drives. There are data centers all over the world that hold all of the information, making it possible for users to gain answers in a fraction of a second.

Next the search engine must answer your inquiry. The articles and links that you are given are not pure randomness. The pages that are presented to you have been assigned a score, with the highest ranking ones being the first ones for the user to see. There are very complicated algorithms that are used to establish the rankings, that I will not be getting into,  but relevance and popularity play a large role.

Now you must be thinking “Well how can I use Search Engine Optimization to my advantage?”

If you combine SEO with Search Engine Marketing  (SEM) you will increase the amount of traffic and exposure to your site by leaps and bounds. SEM, as stated in Wikipedia, means:

“The process of gaining traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. It is also called paid search and sometimes referred to as CPC (cost-per-click) or PPC (pay-per-click) marketing, because most search ads are sold on a CPC / PPC basis.”

Both SEM and SEO have the same bottom line and goal: To give users information they are looking for. Though SEO is free that does not mean it is better than SEM. They should be used together because no matter you want the customer coming to your website and it shouldn’t matter how.

In my last blog I talked about how inbound marketing is all about the user and how relevant content will improve your traffic. By using SEO and SEM together you are going to gain customer attention. If your website is user-friendly and uses  keywords that are most likely to be searched, then “spiders” will be able to easily find the link to your page when searched for. Whether it is through an “organic” search or through paid links the user will still be seeing your information and coming to your site, thus  improving your traffic. By using social media tactics, like Facebook and Twitter, your links are going to become more popular and  you will become more searchable. I don’t believe you can have a successful website if you do not participate in both SEM and SEO. 


If you would like to learn more details about Search Engine Optimization please follow this link:

Below is a link to my blog about inbound marketing, in case you missed it.




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