Search results from Google, Bing and others are compiled by computer algorithms designed to provide users with relevant and useful results, based on the search terms entered.
Each search engine brand has their own secret algorithm for scoring pages and then showing pages to the user. These complex formulas are constantly changing in an attempt to filter out increasing volumes of irrelevant, spammy and offensive content from search results and hopefully encourage user loyalty to that particular brand of search engine.
Google’s former head of search quality, Matt Cutts explains how Google finds website pages through links, indexes them and then ranks the pages to appear in search results for particular search keywords entered by the user:
Bing starts to put some pressure on Google
As Google faces growing competition from Microsoft’s Bing (who recently merged with Yahoo’s search index and advertising platform) they are under more pressure than ever to impress users with up to date relevant and fast search results as well as increased functionality and usability.
This is great news for users, who can choose between competitors based on performance, but presents a growing challenge to small businesses lacking the funds to keep their website up to date with the latest search engine algorithm changes.
How to appear in the search results
Search engine optimisation is the process of improving a website and web-presence to increase the positioning in search engine results. Because search engines do not accept payment for listing in the (organic) search results this involves optimising a website for hundreds of factors to improve compatibility, whilst creating interest so that others will want to link to it.
When our SEO agency works on a clients website, we utilise strategies that are recommended by search optimisation experts across the world, who are all attempting to anticipate the proportional value of different search engine algorithm ranking factors.