Monday, February 22, 2010

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Major Search Engines Guide

In the search engine list below, We provides a guide to the major search engines of the web. Why are these considered to be "major" search engines? Because they are either well-known or well-used.


Google search is a web search engine owned by Google Inc. and is the most-used search engine on the Web. Google receives several hundred million queries each day through its various services. Google search was originally developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1997.

Google Search provides more than 22 special features beyond the original word-search capability. These include synonyms, weather forecasts, time zones, stock quotes, maps, earthquake data, movie showtimes, airports, home listings, and sports scores.

Google provides the option to find more than web pages, however. Using on the top of the search box on the Google home page, you can easily seek out images from across the web, discussions that are taking place on Usenet newsgroups, locate news information or perform product searching.

A Google search-results page is ordered by a priority rank called a "PageRank" which is kept secret to prevent spammers from forcing their pages to the top. Google Search provides many options for customized search (see below: Search options), such as: exclusion ("-xx"), inclusion ("+xx"), alternatives ("xx OR yy"), and wildcard ("x * x").


Yahoo! Search is a web search engine, owned by Yahoo! Inc. and was as of December 2009, the 2nd largest search engine on the web by query volume, at 6.29%, after its competitor Google at 85.35% and before Bing at 3.27%, according to Net Applications.

In addition to excellent search results, you can use tabs above the search box on the Yahoo home page to seek images, Yellow Page listings or use Yahoo's excellent shopping search engine. Or visit the Yahoo Search home page, where even more specialized search options are offered.

Yahoo! Search, originally referred to as Yahoo! provided Search interface, would send queries to a searchable index of pages supplemented with its directory of sites. The results were presented to the user under the Yahoo! brand. Originally, none of the actual web crawling and storage/retrieval of data was done by Yahoo! itself. In 2001 the searchable index was powered by Inktomi and later was powered by Google until 2004, when Yahoo! Search became independent. Yahoo! Search major competitors are: Google Search, Bing and Ask Search.

Like Google, Yahoo sells paid placement advertising links that appear on its own site and which are distributed to others. Yahoo purchased Overture in October 2003.

On July 29, 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced a deal in which Bing would power Yahoo! Search.


Bing (formerly Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search) is the current web search engine (advertised as a "decision engine") from Microsoft. It went fully online on June 3, 2009, with a preview version released on June 1, 2009.

Notable changes include the listing of search suggestions as queries are entered and a list of related searches (called "Explorer pane") based on semantic technology from Powerset that Microsoft purchased in 2008. As of January 2010[update] Bing is the third largest search engine on the web by query volume, at 3.16%, after its competitor Google at 85.35% and Yahoo at 6.15%, according to Net Applications.

Ask (or Ask Jeeves in the United Kingdom) is a search engine founded in 1996 by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen in Berkeley, California. The original search engine software was implemented by Gary Chevsky from his own design. Chevsky, Justin Grant, and others built the early website around that core engine.

Ask Jeeves initially gained fame in 1998 and 1999 as being the "natural language" search engine that let you search by asking questions and responded with what seemed to be the right answer to everything. In 2001, Ask acquired Teoma's unique index and search relevancy technology. Teoma was based upon the clustering concept of subject-specific popularity.

Today, Ask depends on crawler-based technology to provide results to its users. These results come from the Teoma algorithm, now known as ExpertRank.

AOL Search

AOL Inc., formerly known as America Online is an American global Internet services and media company. AOL is best known for its online software suite, also called AOL, that allowed millions of customers around the world to access the world's largest "walled garden" online community and eventually reach out to the internet as a whole.

AOL Search provides users with editorial listings that come Google's crawler-based index. Indeed, the same search on Google and AOL Search will come up with very similar matches.The "internal" version of AOL Search provides links to content only available within the AOL online service. In this way, you can search AOL and the entire web at the same time. The "external" version lacks these links. Why wouldn't you use AOL Search? If you like Google, many of Google's features such as "cached" pages are not offered by AOL Search.


HotBot is one of the early Internet search engines and was launched in May 1996 as a service of Wired Magazine. It was launched using a "new links" strategy of marketing, claiming to update its search database more often than its competitors. It also offered free webpage hosting, but only for a short time, and it was taken down without any notice to its users. It was one of the first search engines to offer the ability to search within search results.

HotBot provides easy access to the web's three major crawler-based search engines: Yahoo, Google and Teoma. Unlike a meta search engine, it cannot blend the results from all of these crawlers together. Nevertheless, it's a fast, easy way to get different web search "opinions" in one place.


AlltheWeb is an Internet search engine (Powered by Yahoo) that made its debut in mid-1999. You may find AllTheWeb a lighter, more customizable and pleasant "pure search" experience than you get at Yahoo itself. The focus is on web search, but news, picture, video, MP3 and FTP search are also offered.

AlltheWeb had a few advantages over Google, such as a fresher database, more advanced search features, search clustering and a completely customizable look.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Helpful Guide - How Search Engines Work

You know how important it is to score high in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Page). But your site isn't featuring on the first three pages, and you don't understand why? It could be that you're confusing the web crawlers trying to index it. How can you find out?

In order to achieve a useful level of website optimization, it is essential to understand how search engines operate and how they arrive at their results.

Search engines work in a number of different ways that directly relate to search engine optimization:

1. Crawling the Web

Search engines run automated programs, called "bots" or "spiders" or "crawlers" that use the hyperlink structure of the web to "crawl" the pages and documents that make up the World Wide Web. Spiders only can follow links from one page to another and from one site to another. That is the primary reason why links to your site (inbound links) are so important. Links to your website from other websites will give the search engine spiders more "food" to chew on.

Spiders find Web pages by following links from other Web pages, but you can also submit your Web pages directly to a search engine or directory and request a visit by their spider. It can be useful to submit your URL straight to the various search engines; but spider-based engines will usually pick up your site regardless of whether or not you've submitted it to a search engine.

2. Indexing Documents

Once pages & Web addresses have been crawled or collected, sent to the search engine's indexing software. The indexing software extracts information from the documents, storing it in database. The kind of information indexed depends on particular search engine. Some index every word in a document; others index the document title only.

3. Processing Queries

When you perform a search by entering keywords, Search engines match queries against an index that they create and assembles a web page that lists the results as hypertext links. The index consists of the words in each document, plus pointers to their locations within the documents. This is called an inverted file.

4. Ranking Results

Once the search engine has determined which results are a match for the query, the engine's algorithm (a mathematical equation commonly used for sorting) runs calculations on each of the results to determine which is most relevant to the given query. They sort these on the results pages in order from most relevant to least so that users can make a choice about which to select.

Search engine crawlers may look at a number of different factors when crawling a site. Not every page is indexed by the search engines. Certain types of navigation may hinder or entirely prevent search engines from reaching your website's content:

Speed Bumps & Walls

Complex links and deep site structures with little unique content may serve as "bumps". Data that cannot be accessed by spiderable links qualify as "walls".

Possible "Speed Bumps" for SE Spiders:

*  URLs with 2+ dynamic parameters; i.e. (spiders may be reluctant to crawl complex URLs like this because they often result in errors with non-human visitors).

*  Pages with more than 100 unique links to other pages on the site (spiders may not follow each one).

*  Pages buried more than 3 clicks/links from the home page of a website (unless there are many other external links pointing to the site, spiders will often ignore deep pages).

*  Pages requiring a "Session ID" or Cookie to enable navigation (spiders may not be able to retain these elements as a browser user can).

*  Pages that are split into "frames" can hinder crawling and cause confusion about which pages to rank in the results.

Possible "Walls" for SE Spiders:

*  Pages accessible only via a select form and submit button.

*  Pages requiring a drop down menu (HTML attribute) to access them.

*  Documents accessible only via a search box.

*  Documents blocked purposefully (via a robots meta tag or robots.txt file - see more on these here).

*  Pages requiring a login.

*  Pages that re-direct before showing content (search engines call this cloaking or bait-and-switch and may actually ban sites that use this tactic.

The key to ensuring that a site's contents are fully crawlable is to provide direct, HTML links to to each page you want the search engine spiders to index. Remember that if a page cannot be accessed from the home page (where most spiders are likely to start their crawl) it is likely that it will not be indexed by the search engines. A sitemap can be of tremendous help for this purpose.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO Basics for Beginners

SEO Basics are the simplest and most common principles of Search Engine Optimization. In this article find out how to do basic SEO, code search engine friendly pages and how to do a basic promotion of your site.

What is SEO & why it is important?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of publishing and marketing information that ranks well for valuable keywords in search engines like Google, Yahoo! Search, and Microsoft Live Search.

SEO, or search engine optimization is important for any website. Essentially, SEO helps to make sure that your website will be found on the Internet. The most important reason for doing SEO for your website is to reach your target audience. Having a beautiful glossy website is of no use if nobody is visiting it. SEO increases the number of visitors to your website which in turn brings profit to your business.

Search engine optimization consists of the following main steps:

Choosing the Right Keywords

Choosing the right keywords and phrases for your website is an important part of the process of search engine optimization and making your site more visible to search engines and searchers alike. You may think you know what your ideal customer is typing into Google to find your company, but how do you know for sure?  Even the slightest variation - such as making a word plural - can cause dramatic differences in search results. The best way select a right keyword is to imagine what 'exact' phrase the author/webmaster might have used to describe your required information.

We need to be more specific, which means:

   1. Targeting a more suitable market that is looking for a content editing solution
   2. Competing with fewer websites targeting the same keywords
   3. Optimizing for keywords that people actually use when performing searches

Targeting a suitable market will depend on your website, as well as the products and services you offer. Try to be specific with your keywords, and remember that people no longer use single keyword search phrases - the average search phrase contains 3-5 related words.

Google AdWords: Keyword Tool & Overture search suggestion tool are great tools that help you choose relevant and popular terms related to your selected key-term.

Your URL and Title Tag

The most important factors in search engines ranking are your domain name and title tag. For example, a domain name such as: will generally get ranked higher than, assuming that they had identical keywords and page content.

Your title tag is equally as important as your domain name. Using keywords in your title tag can improve your Google ranking significantly. Trying to achieve a balance of professionalism with keyword density in the title tag however is sometimes a little more difficult.

Keywords in title tag shows search results as your page title, so this is one of the most important things and it shouldn’t be long 5-6 words max, and use keyword at the beginning.

Heading Tags and Keyword Density

Header tags are used in millions of websites across the internet, and have become a standard for good design. Header tags are an alternative method to highlighting key pieces of information throughout a webpage. Header tags come in a variety of sizes from a H1 to a H6, which reflect the sizes of the header tags.

These tags should contain your specific keywords along with any other descriptive text relevant to the content of the page. Search engines regard Head tags as valuable pointers to what a web page is all about. The Google ranking algorithm dictates that if you're using a tag, then the text in between this tag must be more important than the content on the rest of the page. So try to include your most important keyword phrases in heading tags on your page if you can.

Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. Sprinkling keywords throughout your page content can also improve your sites keyword density. Keyword density simply means the ratio of optimized keywords to the rest of the content on your page. It is usually expressed as a percentage, and should be between 7% and 10% for each page on your site.

Unique Content

Writing search engine friendly content helps your potential customers find you through a search engine. Most search engines use software “spiders” to comb the Web for the most relevant sites, and one way they determine a site’s value is by its written content. The spiders are searching the content for keywords or the words that people type in to the search engines that relate to a particular topic. The good news is that spiders, like your site visitors, are attracted to short, easy-to-understand text that is relevant to what you are selling.

Website Links

Backlinks are links that are directed towards your website. Also knows as Inbound links (IBL's). The number of backlinks is an indication of the popularity or importance of that website. Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.

Having links from similar sites is very, very useful. It indicates that the competition is voting for you and you are popular within your topical community.