When working on SEO, you must consider both on page SEO and off page SEO.  While on page SEO is definitely important, off page optimization contributes more heavily to search results than on page SEO.  Making sure to get your title page and meta tags correct is important, but optimizing off page still weighs in at about 80% of importance compared to only 20% for on page SEO.

Google search results are by no means magical.  Google’s servers use algorithms to analyze web pages and give us the results to our searches.  The algorithms used by Google are based on how research reports work.  In any industry, a report really begins to gain weight when it begins to be referenced by others.   Some ways that a report may be referenced include:

  • Radio
  • Television
  • Speeches
  • Websites
  • Newer research reports

Occurrences of these references show recognition for the quality of the work.  They are essentially like votes for that particular research report.  This is how reports gain credibility within a community.  Similarly, Google’s algorithm looks at how many outside links there are to a particular page when determining its rank.  The more links to it, the more weight and credibility Google will assign to it and the higher it will rank in search.

The term “World Wide Web” is derived from:

  • An imaginary search engine “spider” “crawling” around the Internet gathering a list of web pages via links for Google.
  • The links from websites to each other would resemble a spider web.

Now that we know why it’s called the World Wide Web, consider the actual process of web crawling:  The server’s index software follows all of the links on known web pages to new web pages.  The new pages lead to additional pages and the process continues for each new link discovered.  The servers keep a list of each new page and its content, as well as how many times other pages link to it.  The major limitation to this type of indexing is that a website must be linked by another to be found.  If you do not want a page to be found, then not linking to it will keep it from being indexed.  However, when you do want a page to be found, it is important to implement a proper on page linking structure.  Google also allows for the submission of site maps, but this should not be a substitution for a well-designed on page linking structure.

Since the index software only makes a giant list of web pages, it is the job of the query software to take this data and find results that are relevant to the search performed.  The query software takes the pages gathered by the index software and applies the algorithm to it.  This gives us what is usually a very accurate list of pages that contains the desired information.

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