Commonly called in the English language Search enginea search engine is a tool that allows you to obtain useful information online through the use of keywords and search terms. All you have to do is to fill in these terms when making a request and the search engine will automatically bring out the information related to it. This information is proposed in an order defined according to each search engine
Billions of people search for information, products or services on search engines because of their reliability and their ability to present good information
These searches are directed to 90 % to the web giant, Google.
However, a search engine is not only used to satisfy the customer experience, it also plays a crucial role in SEO and improving the visibility of websites.
- What does search engine mean?
- What are the categories of search engines we have?
- What are the various strategies used for its optimization?
These are questions that I will answer in the following lines.
Chapter 1: What does search engine mean?
In this first part, I will explain what a search engine is and how it works.
1.1) What is a search engine?
As its name indicates, a search engine is a digital platform through which one searches the web using keywords, in order to find information, files and video or written content.
The presentation of valuable content to Internet users is the main mission that guides search engines. In order not to fail in this mission, they scour the entire web to
1.1.1. Explore and index certain pages and websites
Crawling and indexing is an sEO process process by which the search engine spider crawls, examines, selects and ranks the different pages of a website in order to list them on the results page
This is an important step without which websites or internet pages cannot be displayed after a user’s query.
Here is a simple tip, if you happen to not see your website on a search engine. You just have to type ̈ site:yoursite.com ̈ to check if your page has been indexed by the search engine
If after that, you see pages appearing, it means that they are well indexed. But if they do not appear, you should know that they have not been indexed.
In order for a search engine to index a page correctly, you must :
- Continuously check the operating reports on the search console to discover and correct any problems;
- Structure the web pages using content to create an internal mesh that can facilitate the work of robots;
- Comply with the requirements of the mobile first index by having a mobile optimized site;
- Enrich your web page frequently with content;
- Have a fluid website and produce quality content that Google can use;
- Remove all duplicate content in order to better conserve your crawl budget.
1.1.2. Evaluating pages and ranking them in the SER
A search engine uses algorithms that allow it to perform a much more technical much more technical examination of the web pages present in its index
Its goal is to determine if these pages are relevant to appear as results at the time of the research of an Internet user
Thus, the algorithms use several factors related to the pages to determine their level of relevance and assign them a corresponding place in the results pages
If you manage to master and understand how search engine algorithms work, especially Google’s, you will have taken a big step in your SEO success
It should be noted that the algorithms diverge given the different search engines. However, there is a great similarity between the elements taken into account on the pages as well as their implementation procedures.
The fundamental elements considered by the algorithms of search engines on a web page are the following:
- The internal mesh ;
- The structural components such as: the URL, the domain name ;
- The text content ;
- The various html tags
- The title tag (for the title of the web page);
- The traffic on the site and the page;
- The external links.
Without further ado, let’s move on to how search engines work.
1.2) How search engines work
As we mentioned in the previous phase, search engines, like Google, work in three successive steps
- The exploration of spiders also called the crawlers by which you can explore your site or new content;
- Lindexing mentioned above by which your contents are indexed for the right keywords;
- Ranking which refers more to the algorithms of search engines that allows your content to be well positioned on the SERP.
However, there are other specific search engines that work differently.
Have you ever heard of search engines that take into account specific content? If not, they are engines that can be called niche search engines and that work by listing specific content models
In fact, these are engines that exclusively present results from manually added content. They do not have crawlers
These directory search engines have their own referencing techniques, which allow them to offer websites a better positioning.
Overall, we have three kinds of search directories:
- Thematic search directories thematic search directories: These are engines that list sites related to a specific theme such as computers, agronomy, tourism or health;
- General search directories general search directories: These are engines that can consider several themes at the same time, but to display the results, they present them by categories;
- Geographic directories geographic directories: These are search directories that present sites that operate in a given geographic area.
More than a thousand directory search engines operate worldwide. The most widespread among these are :
- DMOZ, which stands for Directory Mozilla, contains up to 4,830,584 websites categorized in 590,000 topics;
- 1two which contains up to 11168 sites classified in 341 categories;
- Annuaire-automatique.comcontains more than 8,959 sites categorized by category;
If you want to register your site on a directory, it is important that you know the right procedure to follow, which is undoubtedly more complex than that provided by search engines
Indeed, to do so, it is necessary to fill in a registration form which includes the following fields
- Name and surname of the site administrator (Webmaster) or of the person filling in the form;
- E-mail address of the webmaster by which the notifications of acceptance or refusal are sent;
- The Category of the site which represents the niche in which the directory will classify the theme of the site after acceptance;
- The URL of the site which represents the address of the website to be listed in the directory
- The Site Title which is the title of your site in the directory or the content of the title tag on the welcome page of the site;
- The Description, this is a summary written according to a certain number of criteria previously defined by the directory and which describes the site to be listed.
You now understand how search engines work and what they really mean. Let’s move on to the categories of search engines we have.
Chapter 2: 9 examples of search engines
As I just mentioned earlier, the various search engines have different methods for ranking websites
As far as the types of search engines are concerned, we have classified them into two main categories for you: popular search engines and specialized search engines.
2.1. The most popular search engines
These are engines that stand out for their dynamism and performance. There are 5 of them:
2.1.1 Google the most famous of them all
The giant of search engines Google ranks first in this list with more than 90% of Internet users who use it all over the world. It has the particularity of estimating the value of a page by taking into account various factors including the number of backlinks (links that lead to your website)
In addition, Google evaluates the quality of the contents of the page as well as other elements such as mobile usability.
It should be noted that Google’s algorithms evolve on a regular basis and that it will be of great benefit to you to keep up to date with the various changes.
2.1.2 BING the search engine of Microsoft
Designed in 2009, the search engine bing is a tool created by Microsoft with the aim of offering more features and a better search experience to Internet users
It is, in fact, very close to the American giant Google, as it has a whole universe of features that includes:
- The web;
- The news;
- A location map, Bing Maps;
- A translator, Bing translation;
- A price comparison ;
Bing has developed a system corresponding to Google Search Console, which is useful for website administrators and is called Bing webmaster.
The latter, includes in its system tools that allow to follow :
- The indexation of pages ;
- The incoming links;
- The important keywords derived from users’ searches;
- Possible errors.
2.1.3 Yahoo! : A well-known old search engine
Yahoo! is a search engine that has existed since 2005. It integrates several features on its interface. It presents very rich news subdivided into different categories such as
- Cinema ;
- The stock market;
2.1.4 Qwant : The secure search engine
Qwant is a French search engine, which guarantees the security of users’ privacy of its users
Indeed, it protects the personal information of its users by avoiding that the information is kept and used for commercial purposes. Here, cookies can’t track you
In addition, Qwant offers very packed results pages, which includes a vertically arranged menu characterized by items such as:
- What’s new ;
- Social networks;
- Images and videos;
- Stores and music.
In order to offer more options to its users, it was created the Qwant juniorfor children from 6 to 13 years old in order to protect the sensitivity of young children.
The sites proposed by Qwant junior are those with educational content including games and questions. Moreover, those that are harmful to young Internet users, such as sites of a violent or pornographic nature, are strictly forbidden to access. Qwant currently has over 50 million visits per month
2.1.5 Baidu china’s search engine
Baidu is a search engine with the same name as the Chinese company that created it. It has an operation that is very similar to other search engines
As an expert in madarin queriesit is the search engine that most people living in China use. Like other search engines, Baidu offers a list of results pages that appear after the user’s search
The results are displayed in several forms
- Images or video
- URLs leading to websites
- Links to articles published by media
The Baidu search engine can provide solutions to queries formulated in English since its agreement with Microsoft. Apart from that, it offers tools integrated into its interface to make the visitors’ experience more pleasant
- An encyclopedia called Baike
- A web service called baidu map
- A discussion platform called Tieba
2.2. Specialized search engines
Some search engines are said to be specialized when they allow Internet users to search on very specific themes or subjects
These can be about ;
- Vehicles or motorcycles
- Products and services;
- And so on
As you can imagine, the specialized search engines have their own SEO methods that can help you position your products and services well
Without further ado, I’m going to enumerate these specialized platforms.
2.2.1 YouTube the largest search engine for video content
Digital marketing experts usually present YouTube as the second largest search engine in the world. Owned by Google, it allows Internet users to search for video content.
Contrary to what we think, the number of views on YouTube is an SEO factor for the video giant. Simply because, if we consider two YouTube videos, one of which has more views than the other, the human instinct will mindlessly choose the video that has been viewed more by Internet users
It is therefore assumed that the latter is more interesting than the former.
However, several criteria can be considered, if you want to do the referencing of a youTube video
These are among others:
- Video tags: These are the titles and description of the video. It is necessary to formulate a title that immediately catches the user. You can add emojis and it is especially important to include the keyword you have targeted in the title of your video. The title must be at least 60 characters long, and the description must also keep the main keywords and be more than 150 characters long;
- End screen it appears at the end of the video to immediately suggest to the readers to watch another content. It also helps to support the video mesh and increase the retention rate of readers.
- Links and sharing the sharing of links from your video on external web pages is part of the criteria for the ranking and referencing of your video
- Tags youTube uses a tagging system to make your video content visible to users.
2.2.2 Amazon the online marketplace
Yes, you saw it right. Amazon is the search engine for online products. It is an online business. It represents the first market where Internet users go to request their various products, which makes it an E-commerce giant
2.2.3 Skyscanner, search engine for flights
The specialized search engine Skyscanner allows Internet users to search and find flights on the Internet and to better compare prices. When it comes to adding technological advances to its platform, Skyscanner does not go easy
Indeed, it combines very innovative features and tools to its platform, which makes it more dynamic and fluid
Among these, we have :
- The search tool by interactive map the interactive map search tool: It allows you to select flights according to the destination or the price;
- The search tool by Entire month It allows you to search for the days on which travel to a given destination may be cheaper;
- The search tool Anywhere It allows you to get the best all over the world ;
- The search tool by Country the Country search tool: It offers travelers the possibility to search for the best flights by country;
- The search tool by Filters it allows travelers to better target their flights and destinations.
2.2.4 Facebook specialized search engine
As the main channel of social networks, Facebook gets up to 1.5 billion searches every day. These searches are made on people, companies or brands as well as products or services
Just like on Google, you can optimize the SEO of your page or profile on Facebook. I have then reserved for you five strategies that you can use to optimize your presence on the Facebook search engine.
- Select the performing keywords ;
- Check your page;
- Fill out your profile well: Give useful information about your contact details and your business;
- Be in regular interaction with your followers;
- Promote your ads with Facebook ads.
Now let’s look at the search engine optimization techniques.
Chapter 3: The different techniques to optimize a website for a search engine
Not all techniques are good when it comes to search engine optimization of a website. In this last chapter, I will expose you what to do and what not to do in search engine optimization.
3.1. Techniques to follow for the optimization of a website
If you didn’t know it yet, you should know that search engines recommend the set of SEO techniques known as White Hat SEO
Indeed, it is a set of SEO methods that applies Google’s rules and instructions to optimize a website
White Hat SEO differs from its congeners (BLACK hat SEO) by its ability to offer websites a better ranking in the SERP while keeping its legal side.
Here are 04 White Hat SEO techniques you can use to optimize your website for search engines.
3.1.1. Create relevant content
The basic rule to follow to improve the SEO of a site is the enhancement of its content. Thus, you must regularly produce articles that bring a real added value
The criteria to which a content must conform according to the google algorithm are
- Bring an answer to the problem of the Internet user;
- Authentic and non-plagiarized text;
- Text without spelling and grammar mistakes;
- Opt for an ideal structure: title, paragraph…
3.1.2. Target your keywords
Keywords are words included in the user’s request during his search on Google
To be well positioned on the web, the publications of a website must include key terms in order to increase their relevance for these terms or expressions
There are therefore tools available on the internet to select useful and relevant keywords.
3.1.3. Get relevant backlinks
There are different ways to get backlinks
Note that there are two kinds of links
- The internal link which refers to the content of the same site
- The backlink which comes from other websites
The latter are more important than the former
3.1.4. Regulate the bounce rate on your site
Bounce rate is when a website visitor leaves the site without going to other pages of the site.
The techniques to retain visitors longer on your site :
- Make your website attractive by the design and the structure ;
- Improve the loading time of the site regardless of the connection or the device used;
- Manage links and accessibility of the site in an efficient way.
You will find more information on this article Bounce rate
3.2. Techniques to avoid for search engine optimization
To keep your website reliable and avoid having it de-indexed from search enginesyou must be careful not to use a number of practices. These are
- Buying or selling backlinks;
- The stuffing of keywords;
- Duplicate content
Feel free to consult my article on Black Hat SEO to get a clear idea of all the practices you should not use.
Search engines guarantee Internet users solutions to their various queries, by offering them the best sites that present valuable content that has been analyzed and validated.
For those who equate the term search engine directly with Google, you will have already understood that there are several other search engines
When a website is perfectly optimized according to the rules of a search engine, it leads to a better positioning of this site and I had the opportunity to quote some of the practices to follow.
We are coming to the end of this article and I hope you have benefited from it
See you soon!