Somewhere around 75% to 80% of website traffic comes through internet search engines. What’s more, research shows that many people don’t look beyond the first 2 or 3 pages of search results.
83% of people never go past the first page of Google!
This means if your website doesn’t rank in the first 2 or 3 pages of the major search engines, it’s only receiving less than 10% of its potential traffic, and revenue. (Please remember, being ranked number 1 when you search for your own company name or web address doesn’t count. You will need to rank highly for the keywords your customers use at search engines).
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Search engine results.
The biggest concern for internet search engine companies like Yahoo and google is finding subject matter that will bring them more website traffic (and thus more advertising revenue). To put it simply, their results must be relevant. Relevant results makes for a good search engine; irrelevant results makes for a short-lived search engine.
Most search engines these days return two types of results whenever you click Search, ignoring the fact that you might search a location, whereby map details may also be displayed like Google Maps.
- Natural/Organic– The ‘real’ search results. The results that most users are seeking out and which take up most of the window. For most searches, the search engine displays a long list of links to sites with content which is related to the word searched for. These results are ranked according to how relevant and important they are.
- Paid-Pure advertising. This is how the search engines make their money. Advertisers pay the search engines to display their ad whenever someone searches for a word which is related to their services or product. These ads look like the natural search results, but are normally labeled “Sponsored Links” o “Ad”, and normally take up a smaller portion of the window, albeit at the top or bottom of the page.
When people use search engines to find content, they normally pay a lot more attention to the natural results than the paid results because they know these results are likely to be more relevant (and they know the “Sponsored Links” are simply ads).
When we refer to search engine rating, we’re speaking about ranking well in the natural search results.
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How internet search engines decide precisely what appears in the natural search results.
IMPORTANT: You can not pay a search engine for a high ranking in the natural results. You can only get a high ranking if your content is considered as relevant by the search engines.
Search engines identify relevant content for their search results by sending out ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’ which ‘crawl’ (analyze) your site and ‘index’ (record) its details. Complex algorithms are then employed to determine whether your site is useful and should be included in the search engine’s search results.
This is where SEO comes in …
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