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introduction to search engines

Assuming you have not skipped anything, you have completed...

STEP 1 - STEP 2 - STEP 3 - STEP 4 - STEP 5 - STEP 6 - STEP 7


STEP 1: WIX SEO COURSE - Introduction to search engines!

So, what exactly are search engines, and how do they help us?

According to Wikipedia, a search engine is…

“A web search engine is a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs). The information may be a mix of web pages, images, and other types of files. Some search engines also mine data available in databases or open directories. Unlike web directories, which are maintained only by human editors, search engines also maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.”

That is the technical term. However, according to me…

“A search engine is just an exceptionally large searchable database made up of content, which are the pages on your website and links."


If you strip everything right back to basics, that is all a search engine really is.

How do search engines help us?

A search engine helps us to…

  • Find information!

  • Answer a question!

  • Source a supplier!

  • Find the product I need!

  • And so on…

I like to think that search engines also help to…

“…identify the best source for my search query.”


That is all Google are looking for. They just want to 100% match the searches query (keyword, phrase, or question) with the pages they are providing in their results. They have not got this perfect yet, but they are getting there.

What are the top three search engine players?

They are…

  • Google

  • Bing

  • Yahoo


Now, let us have a look at the market share of each of these three search engines…

  • Google have a massive market share of 88.14%

  • Bing has a market share of 6.18%

  • Yahoo has a market share of 2.51%


Therefore, in the world of SEO, we focus our efforts mainly on Google. That is not necessarily to say we should not forget about Bing and Yahoo. But if you focus on Google, then you have a good chance of also securing top ranking results in both Bing and Yahoo as well.

Search engines journey of crawling and indexing

The search engine web crawler is better known as a search engine spider because it crawls around the internet, indexing pages and following both internal and external links.

Crawling – Finding information

The Google (or other search engine) crawler (software) visits a web page then follows all links (unless they are set to ‘nofollow’) and keeps on doing this, spidering one page after another.

If you add a ‘nofollow’ attribute to a link, you are telling Google not to follow that link, so they will not.

Indexing – Organizing information

Once the crawler has followed a link, it indexes certain elements of that page to its massive database. If the page already exists in the database, it updates the information then moves on to the next page.



What is your favourite high-profile website? Any website at all.


Go to their homepage and start to read the content on that page. As soon as you come to a link within that content, click it and start reading the content on that page until you come to another link, then click that one.

Continue that same process for 30 minutes and write down...

1. The number of pages you have read.

2. The number of links you clicked on.

3. The number of different websites you visited.

Now, on average the Google crawler can crawl and index 10 pages per second.

You now have a basic understanding of search engines.



Great! Move forward to step 2...

Paid search traffic vs Organic search traffic


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