Search Engines and Rankings | Peninsula Web Design
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Understanding Search Engines

By Steven Newton | @stevienewton | August 1st 2018

One statistic states that, on an average day, we are each exposed to as much information online as our ancestors 100 years ago would have seen in a year.

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This is why search engines are so important in separating data into streams we can absorb, and this is critical if your potential customers are to find your products and services.

So, what are the basics of a search?

  • What is ‘Organic Search’?
    This is simply when terms or keywords are plugged into a search engine to find a given product, service, or company. Based on relevance to the search terms used, a list is formed showing websites that most closely match those criteria. Organic search happens as a user-driven process and does not involve payment.
  • What is ‘PPC Search’?
    Pay-per-click (PPC) is a method of driving traffic to a website by clicking on an advertisement. The ad is hosted by a web publisher, the site owner or company that runs the sites, and they are paid by the advertiser for the use of their space. This ‘buys’ a visit to your site instead of ‘earning’ that visit via organic search.
  • Where are Google Ads located on Search Results and Organics Listings?
    These are paid for by advertisers who bid on keywords they feel are most effective to target their offerings. They appear on the search engine results page (SERP) both above the organic search links with small green ad label attached. There is also a single Google Ad at the bottom of the SERP. As an advertiser experiences more success, its Quality Score increases. This then improves the relevance and effective positioning of their future ads with Google. As Google makes more money from your ad clicks, so it elevates your advertising.
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Organic Search
    SEO is the quest to improve the ranking and visibility of organic (non-paid) search engine results. As the use of keywords is improved within a website, it increases your ability to be logically discovered via organic search. Being easier to find means that everything online becomes more streamlined and effective, allowing people to make more constructive use of their time.

In order to rank a website’s ability to provide more user-friendly service, Domain Authority (DA) was developed to assign a score to each site that predicts how well it will rank on SERPs. Each new site starts with a score of 1, then as it develops more high-quality external links (for example google.com) its score increases. Jumping from 1 to 30 can be relatively quick, but the process then becomes more challenging as you rise higher and really fine tune the way people can access your services.

The effective use of search engines requires a little orientation and work, but the results will be profoundly more useful to your business when you take the time to build your online visibility around these essential points.

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