What Are Search Engines Looking For?

Algorithms, those systems of calculations machines use to rate a website, are programmed to look for certain features on a site before the human eye encounters them. Google employees don’t usually evaluate sites by reading them and they certainly couldn’t manage a person’s request manually. No one can count the number of websites and related content in existence out there in the virtual realm, and even if they counted it today, content increases every day.

Search Engine Criteria

In order to manage the task, algorithms were created to spot fraud, spam, and other problems that mess up the internet and give rise to suspicions about content legitimacy. A good example is the review. For a long time, the writers of these algorithms have worked to limit the number of fake reviews which will turn up in a search, although one will still find them accidentally. For instance, when one asks a search engine to locate “reviews of cupcake shops, DE,” this should lead first to approved websites and comments from customers. YotPo hopes to feature only approved reviews which means real customers actually used a product and said things about it, good or bad. There is still the possibility that bad reviews will be removed or that a firm will reward clients for good reviews with extra points, but one must assume clients want to support a firm because they like what they see.

Getting back to search engines, an algorithm will not necessarily remove sites from results if something about them sets off virtual alarm bells. Alternatively, these results wind up towards the end of listings. Instead of page one, they occupy page 10 of a 10-page list. Algorithms look for little details; aspects of website building, hosting, and maintenance which increase their ranking and guide these results to the first page or even the top space.

Reaching the Top Spot

Search engines are looking for dozens of details, but here are just a few. One of them is keywords. These are words which consumers use as their search terms in order to find something. If these words have been inserted into content, a search engine finds them.

Next, this engine assesses the value of keywords. Are they sprinkled lightly throughout text on the landing page, e-commerce, social media, and a blog? Does the writer mix up keyword phrases to include parts of them spaced strategically around content so as not to overload writing with the same phrases? Search engines do not like for sites to lay their keywords on too thickly.

They look for meta tags which are the ones you see in a results list right beneath a website. Meta tags are written specifically to catch the viewer’s attention and reassure him that this site does, indeed, contain information relevant to his search. On the contrary, it might show him that another listing could be more appropriate. Is content relatively new, at least within a couple of months? Engines turn their noses up at old writing.

Engines rank traffic; how many visitors a website enjoys daily. While reading this data, algorithms determine how long visitors stay. When readers connect with a site but disconnect rapidly, ratings take a hit.

Website Action

An algorithm simulates the experience of an internet user in the sense that, when it tries to find a page, software automatically counts how many seconds that page requires to load onto a screen. People are counting too, affording a website just a few seconds to be on their screen and ready to interact with. Consumers don’t like sluggishness and neither do search engines. While readers aren’t usually acquainted with developers’ code, software detects problems and gives websites lower marks when something is out of place with their architecture at a deeply technical level.