I always thought of myself as a technologically “with it” guy but having researched the Internet over the past couple of months with the intent to start a web page myself I realise I’m already a lifetime behind. I hope this will also help other beginners as they try to learn the world of technology. At 23 I’m hardly the classic image of a bumbling middle aged man with inherent aversions to technology, my Dad being the archetypal example and is still unable to set the tape(!) recorder. I have read plenty of blogs where the expert is happy to give the advice to the beginner and I can recommend many

The first subject I shall be getting to grips in full view of my blog is the basic Search Engine and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). There are 3 main search engines in the Western world, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Google in my humble opinion is the best search engine not only because it’s basic search provides the best results but also because of the advanced search options you are provided with. Maps, News and Educational articles can all be searched with ease. The simple layout, usability, relevant results also make it the market leader with an estimated 2 billion searches a day.

SEO is the catchy and less than subtle name given to the act of getting your website up the search result listings from the top search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. All the sites have their own intricate systems of searching the billions of websites out in the ether for you and coming up with what they believe are your optimal results based on the words you use to search. The order of these search results is critical to the individual websites as much of their Internet traffic comes from search engine searches. Previously the searches were based on Keywords. The Search Engines would match up for the search words you entered with the websites that best displayed those keywords.

Things have moved on now and the Internet search engines are much more advanced at matching our search requests and filtering out spam sites. They focus more on the content of the site, the relevancy, the feedback and the web coding that powers the site. The buzz word/phrase being thrown around at the moment is making sure your website has rich content. This basically means the content on your site has to be valuable information that the visitor wants to read. Just repeating a keyword like “hotels” in every sentence in an almost random fashion won’t help your site reach the top of the search results any more. Google is promoting the sites that have value to the searcher by providing reliable, regular, and relevant information.

The final major factor with regards to where a certain page ranks is its PageRank. Now you may be thinking that is quite an incredible insight that no one could possibly have figured out without you stating it. However PageRank actually refers to the web pages which link to a specific site. Search engines may rank a page higher if it has one link from a very very popular website over a website which has links from lots smaller websites. All three areas, Keywords, Content, and Page Rank need to be top notch to gain a top ranking on the main websites and there is a multimillion dollar industry of SEOs trying to help websites do just that.

The main focus of innovation in this area is to speed up the search process by improving the indexing of sites, as well as bringing in new media in to the search results such as a video and audio. Luckily Google, Bing and the other players aren’t the type of companies to rest on their laurels and will continue pushing the technological boundaries.