SEO: Search Engine Optimization Bible
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Reviews of Part I Chapter 1
The chapter starts with a short description on why a search engine was needed and what its history is. Might be these are all old stories but gives a fair introduction to the subject. Then follows with short awareness to the services like Gopher – The text document content indexer, Veronica & Jughead – for searching within Gopher Indices, Wandex – the first search engine of the modern class, etc. In addition, a comprehensive list of search engines from the year 1993 to 1998 has been added and seemed a good reference.
The author has given a nice, still complicated, explanation of how today’s search engines work. The description touches all the concepts like, crawling, indexing & the user interface. A small statistics on the sources and indices are given to advocate the complexity and size of the search engines.
Moving into the deeper side of the search engine design, the author gives case references of options offered by some of the popular providers like Ask.com, Yahoo search & Google. At some point the personal interests – or market statistics – have influenced the content. Anyway everyone has some favorite services, not to blame. Like the author notes, “Google offers the most ability for [one] to reach [their] target audience, because it does more than just optimize [the] site for search; if there is a useful tool or feature available on [the] site, [one] can allow users to have access to this tool or feature through the Application Programming Interface (API) made available…”. And it’s true…
The architecture of the search engines are detailed more by describing the hidden modules like the crawlers, spiders & robots which forms the biggest part of the information collection for the index to be created. The description is put to an end by reducing the complexities of the data storage by leaving it to the reader’s imagination with the comment “a massive storage area”.
The simplified definition of a search process is placed under the Search Engine Algorithm section, making the reader to believe it to be simple but complicated. The definition prepares the reader’s mind to be ready for the complex text to be followed. Algorithms like List search, Tree search, SQL search, Informed Search, Adversarial search and constraint satisfaction search are briefed for their pros and cons. Most of the search algorithms are ranked ‘not suitable for web search’ and marks constraint satisfaction search algorithm as the best.
Moving into the most worrying part of the job -- of a SEO Engineer --, the retrieval and ranking of the content is detailed. Although the section heading raises ones expectations, the whole excitation is blurred with comments like, “Unfortunately, how a search engine ranks your page or pages is a tough science to pin down. The most that you can hope for, in most cases, is to make an educated guess…” The page elements that would possibly affect the ranking are described with examples and references. Positioning of the keywords, frequency of appearance – but with a caution --, number of coming into the site links & going out of the site links (may be redefined to number of external referrers and references), and click-through are hoped to be the key elements that might determine the page rank. Definitely the extend of the influence is search engine dependent and there are intelligent engines who identifies and filters the abuse of these ranking factors.
Search string characteristics, the way a user formulates a query that is put into the UI is very important. The understanding of this enables creation of good ranked contents. Some use natural languages, others go for Boolean techniques. The best content should be equipped to address both types of queries. Preparing the website to meet these is the SEO’s task. The description on search engines ends with overviews of few popular search engines.
Putting search engine to work for you section introduces the page/content elements discussed in the previous
Search Engine Basics
Creating an SEO Plan
Components of an SEOFriendly Page
Keywords and Your Web Site
PayperClick and SEO
Maximizing PayperClick Strategies
Increasing Keyword Success
Optimizing Search Strategies
Robots Spiders and Crawlers
The Truth About SEO Spam
Adding SocialMedia Optimization
Understanding and Using Behavioral Targeting
Managing Keyword and PPC Campaigns
Keyword Tools and Services
Tagging Your Web Site
The Content Piece of the Puzzle
Understanding the Role of Links and Linking