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How do search engines use keywords

Keywords are the staple diet of Google and other search engines, this is because Google is basically a huge library that uses keyword information to list, sort and serve results to its users.

For example, if you ask Google to search for a phrase or keyword it will already have a selected list of relevant pages to return when you hit the search button. It can also provide a sub list of related terms it thinks may save you time.

You can see exactly how Google returns results to your query by checking out Google 101.

Google 101Google 101

In order to provide your search return Google has “Cached” or “Indexed” billions of web pages and placed them in its index ready to be “Served” to you.

It will have used over 200 factors in determining which web pages it will “Serve”
to you in your results search, and in determining the order of these pages. Google will list the majority of web pages it has found for your query (millions usually).

The places Google looks to find keywords are the websites URL, its meta tags (title and description), the sites html coding (keywords can be included as attributes to images or links) and the text content within the webpage. Google also examines incoming links to a website – incoming links may contain keywords.

If websites do not have the relevant keywords somewhere on the website (or in their link profiles, as in some cases Google can rank a site solely based on the content of its incoming links!), then Google will not rank the site for those keywords.

Sites that do not include much text content – for instance, those that rely heavily on graphics will find that Google has difficulty in listing them correctly, if at all.

Below are Google’s own Guidelines to web developers on how to develop a web sites content.

  • Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
  • Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, you may want to break the site map into separate pages.
  • Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.
  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
  • Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn't recognize text contained in images.
  • Make sure that your <title> elements and alt attributes are descriptive and accurate.
  • Check for broken links and correct HTML.
  • If you decide to use dynamic pages (i.e., the URL contains a "?" character), be aware that not every search engine spider crawls dynamic pages as well as static pages. It helps to keep the parameters short and the number of them few.
  • Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).

Google will follow a link it finds on a webpage. It uses this method to discover new websites and pages. It can also discover new websites and pages through the submission of XML sitemaps.

However, if you want to manually inform google of a new webpage – or site – that has no links into it, you can use Google's add url to google.

Comments1 Comments

Diane Maskell

great thanks

31 October 2010

All comments are moderated for spam and will not be shown. All genuine comments wil be show, however the links will be based on a NO FOLLOW RULE. Repeat commenters adding value to the articles and discusions will have removed alowing Follow Rule to Work.

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