The first question is what exactly is search engine optimisation, or SEO? In short, SEO is a system used to enhance the rankings on a search engine of a particular website. This is done by two very different methods, know as White Hat and Black Hat within the industry. White Hat, as the name implies, is a totally approved system of SEO which uses strategies and tactics which search engine owners approve of. Black Hat, on the other hand, used strategies and tactics frowned upon by the industry, and can result in websites being de-listed and banned from a search engine, such is the dislike of such practices within the industry.
Google, the world’s biggest search engine with over 3.5 billion searches per day, uses a system known as PageRank (PR) – named after one of the Google founders, Larry Page. PageRank is an algorithm which ranks pages in the search engine, effectively ranking websites according to their importance.
The algorithms work by focusing on certain elements of a search. One of the key elements is to analyse the words used in the search. By doing this, the search should be able to provide the answer looked for instantly, almost anyway.
Spelling mistakes have to be interpreted, and in addition the latest research on natural language understanding is applied to help ensure accurate search results. The Google synonym system is another tool that is used to ensure accurate search results. The Google synonym system took 5 years to develop, and Google believes it helps searches in over 30% of cases across the range of languages used with Google.
As well as the above, the algorithm analyses the specific vocabulary used, using this to identify if it is a specific or a general query. It looks for clues in the vocabulary used to ensure search results are as closely matched with the users query as possible. By applying all of these principles, Google can deliver results in the blink of an eye.
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