How Search Engines Work: Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking Beginner’s Guide to SEO


For sites that can influence a user’s well-being, finances or safety, E-A-T is pivotal. However, many agencies, caught in the historical importance of keyword optimization, may miss the forest for the trees. For instance, does a search for “java” pertain to the programming language, the island or coffee?


You can sign up for a free Google Search Console account if you don’t currently have one. With this tool, you can submit sitemaps for your site and monitor how many submitted pages have actually been added to Google’s index, among other things. If your business is informational, you are more likely to set objectives focusing on brand awareness or website traffic. If your business is transactional and you have an e-commerce element, you’ll want to set your objectives around tracking sales and lead conversions. However, if you’re a non-ecommerce commercial site, you’ll want to focus on lead generations. Search engines send out web crawlers to find new pages and record information about them. Their purpose is to discover new web pages that exist, and also to periodically check the content on pages they’ve previously visited to see whether they’ve changed or been updated.

Indexing: How do search engines interpret and store your pages?

Even basic tools like “People Also Ask” or the “Searches related to” section on Google can help shed light on user intent. Studying patterns in search queries, analyzing on-site behavior and user surveys can further crystallize your understanding of how people are searching. Looking at the paid and organic report helps you better understand how PPC ads and organic results work together and where to focus and prioritize efforts. PPC, or pay-per-click, focuses on targeting users with a combination of keyword and audience targeting to display paid placements on the search results page. SEO is also referred as SEO copyrighting, because most of the techniques that are used to promote sites in search engines, deal with text. If you’re not sure of the right target keyword, use a keyword research tool, or simply explore YouTube’s existing content library for inspiration.

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Like organic listings, historically, paid search ads were made up of headline and description text. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! often update their relevancy algorithm dozens of times per month.

Comparing SEO And PPC

LinkedIn, CNET, Bankrate and others are testing AI content creation for SEO. An overview of technical SEO, how it fits into an overall SEO strategy, plus key activities, tools and skills you need to know. Everything you need to start your content strategy, whether you’re a small team just starting out, or a larger team looking to iterate on your process. The search engine threatened to stop serving news in response to a new law forcing tech companies to pay for news content. What you read here is written by our experienced in-house team, and subject matter experts from leading brands and agencies. This content has been made available for informational purposes only.

Just like any search engine, YouTube wants to deliver content that answers the searcher’s specific query. To get videos to rank on YouTube, we must first understand the YouTube algorithm and YouTube’s ranking factors. Claire has 17 years of experience in the digital marketing industry, specializing in SEO for 8 years. After managing both B2B and B2C SEO client accounts and leading the SEO copywriting team for a creative digital marketing team, she has moved into an in-house role. Currently, Claire combines her passion for SEO and content across 5 e-commerce sites.

These algorithms have gone through many changes over the years in order to improve the quality of search results. Check out our Google Algorithm Change History for a list of both confirmed and unconfirmed Google updates going back to the year 2000.