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An Introduction to SEO - Chapter 2 - The Search Process

If at first you don't succeed - change the rules

Lets suppose you want to find property for sale in Kent UK. Your first step might be to go onto your favourite search engine and type 'property for sale in Kent' and press 'Return'.

The search engine goes through its database of web pages and tries to list them by relevance according to the key words you entered. You look at each entry and click on the ones you like the look of.

If you are the owner of an online estate agent site it would be very depressing to find your site listed so far down that list that no one will ever find it. It would be even more depressing to find sites listed above yours that have little to do with selling property.

To truly understand how this state of affairs can occur we need to go back to a time when you uploaded your site and submitted it to a search engine.

Shortly after you submitted your site to a search engine, it would have been visited (or 'Crawled') by a 'Spider' (aka 'Robot' or 'Web Bot') sent out by that search engine. They would read in a page from your web site and analyse its contents.

Their real interest is the textual content of the page. They are also interested in special codes called 'Meta Tags' and links to other pages. The essence of the page is then stored in a huge database and then waits to be found by someone typing in the right set of keywords.

Needless to say, each page must be properly coded for this process to work and this is where many sites fall down. If a site gets listed before yours, it means it has successfully convinced the search engine that it is more relevant to a set of key words than yours.

Now it is quite possible that the owner of that site has paid to get higher listings and you could do the same thing your self but, before you part with your hard earned cash you might want to read the following chapters.

Intro | Chapter 1 | Chapter 3

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