Understanding Search Engine Promotion
To understand search engine optimization, marketing, and ranking, you first need to know what a search engine is. A search engine is a program that searches documents stored on the World Wide Web for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. The term “search engine” is often used to specifically describe systems like Google and Yahoo that enable users to search for documents on the World Wide Web.
Typically, a search engine works by sending out a spider to fetch (or crawl) as many documents as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document. Each search engine uses a proprietary algorithm to create its indices such that, ideally, only meaningful results are returned for each query.
There are 4 major search engines being used in today’s market place.
At the top are GOOGLE, YAHOO!, BING (previously MSN), and ASK. As you can see from the pictorial to the right – you want your Web site to be listed with a high search engine ranking in these top 4 engines – preferably in the organic placement section and not just the PPC (Pay Per Click) sections of the Website listings. These 4 search engines make up approximately 95-97% of the entire Web surfing public.
Disclaimer: The Pie Chart image is NOT an exact representation of Market Share for any company mentioned, but simply a visual presentation for educational purposes.