Introduction to seo
This document is intended for webmasters and site owners who want to investigate the issues of seo (search engine optimization) and promotion of their resources. It is mainly aimed at beginners, although I hope that experienced webmasters will also find something new and interesting here. There are many articles on seo on the Internet and this text is an attempt to gather some of this information into a single consistent document.
Information presented in this text can be divided into several parts:
– Clear-cut seo recommendations, practical guidelines.
– Theoretical information that we think any seo specialist should know.
– Seo tips, observations, recommendations from experience, other seo sources, etc.
1. General seo information
1.1 History of search engines
In the early days of Internet development, its users were a privileged minority and the amount of available information was relatively small. Access was mainly restricted to employees of various universities and laboratories who used it to access scientific information. In those days, the problem of finding information on the Internet was not nearly as critical as it is now.
Site directories were one of the first methods used to facilitate access to information resources on the network. Links to these resources were grouped by topic. Yahoo was the first project of this kind opened in April 1994. As the number of sites in the Yahoo directory inexorably increased, the developers of Yahoo made the directory searchable. Of course, it was not a search engine in its true form because searching was limited to those resources who’s listings were put into the directory. It did not actively seek out resources and the concept of seo was yet to arrive.
Such link directories have been used extensively in the past, but nowadays they have lost much of their popularity. The reason is simple – even modern directories with lots of resources only provide information on a tiny fraction of the Internet. For example, the largest directory on the network is currently DMOZ (or Open Directory Project). It contains information on about five million resources. Compare this with the Google search engine database containing more than eight billion documents.
The WebCrawler project started in 1994 and was the first full-featured search engine. The Lycos and AltaVista search engines appeared in 1995 and for many years Alta Vista was the major player in this field.
In 1997 Sergey Brin and Larry Page created Google as a research project at Stanford University. Google is now the most popular search engine in the world.
Currently, there are three leading international search engines – Google, Yahoo and MSN Search. They each have their own databases and search algorithms. Many other search engines use results originating from these three major search engines and the same seo expertise can be applied to all of them. For example, the AOL search engine (search.aol.com) uses the Google database while AltaVista, Lycos and AllTheWeb all use the Yahoo database.
1.2 Common search engine principles
To understand seo you need to be aware of the architecture of search engines. They all contain the following main components:
Spider – a browser-like program that downloads web pages.
Crawler – a program that automatically follows all of the links on each web page.
Indexer – a program that analyzes web pages downloaded by the spider and the crawler.
Database– storage for downloaded and processed pages.
Results engine – extracts search results from the database.
Web server – a server that is responsible for interaction between the user and other search engine components.
Specific implementations of search mechanisms may differ. For example, the Spider+Crawler+Indexer component group might be implemented as a single program that downloads web pages, analyzes them and then uses their links to find new resources. However, the components listed are inherent to all search engines and the seo principles are the same.
Spider. This program downloads web pages just like a web browser. The difference is that a browser displays the information presented on each page (text, graphics, etc.) while a spider does not have any visual components and works directly with the underlying HTML code of the page. You may already know that there is an option in standard web browsers to view source HTML code.
Crawler. This program finds all links on each page. Its task is to determine where the spider should go either by evaluating the links or according to a predefined list of addresses. The crawler follows these links and tries to find documents not already known to the search engine.
Indexer. This component parses each page and analyzes the various elements, such as text, headers, structural or stylistic features, special HTML tags, etc.
Database. This is the storage area for the data that the search engine downloads and analyzes. Sometimes it is called the index of the search engine.
Results Engine. The results engine ranks pages. It determines which pages best match a user’s query and in what order the pages should be listed. This is done according to the ranking algorithms of the search engine. It follows that page rank is a valuable and interesting property and any seo specialist is most interested in it when trying to improve his site search results. In this article, we will discuss the seo factors that influence page rank in some detail.
Web server. The search engine web server usually contains a HTML page with an input field where the user can specify the search query he or she is interested in. The web server is also responsible for displaying search results to the user in the form of an HTML page.