During the course of our next few articles, we’ll be talking quite a bit about what search engine optimization is, as well as how you can be sure your site has been optimized. We’ll be listing out quite a lot of methods to help you along, as well as some general pointers to ensure that your site is search engine friendly: We want you to be high up the list at venues like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. However, what if you haven’t got the first clue what search engine optimization even is? What if you’re clueless as it comes, and just want someone to stop and explain what in the heck all this technobabble even means?

If you’re in that boat, then you’ve sailed to the right shore! Before we go any further with our methods and hacks, we’d like to simply take a moment to explain the technology at work. If that sounds like a good idea to you, then head on down below the break, Solider! We’ve got the information you need and more, and it’s all waiting for you.

How do Search Engines Work?

If you’ve never stopped to think about how sites like Google and Bing can be so powerful and so organized, now is the time to take a moment and do so. You see, the methods we’ll be explaining in later articles that improve your site’s ability to communicate with these leviathans largely rely on the ways in which these sites work. With that in mind, here’s the most basic of overviews to give you a more detailed look at the whole thing.

Search engines are not God-like machines that simply know everything. However, they are like deities in the sense that they have a lot of little helpers working for them. These helpers are called Spider Bots, and they perform a lot of the menial, database-oriented tasks that allow sites like Google to categorize and store such huge portions of the Internet. They work something like this.

On an average day, a spider bot program will troll through thousands of sites on the Internet. It finds a web-page, and then runs all of the text, pictures, and other content through a pre-determined filter in its little spider brain. It uses the information it collects to determine what the site is about based on keywords it notices within the page. For instance, if your article mentions “steak” a lot, the spider bot will notice this. Then, it takes all this information back to Google, which puts it into a database that can be searched when someone types in a request for steak. It’s really that simple, but there are a lot of tiny quirks that make these spider bots easier to work with—To do so, though, you’ll need to know exactly what those quirks are!

Primary SEO Tools and Tricks

As stated in the paragraph above, spider bots work in pre-programmed ways that, once they’re known of, can be used to increase the friendliness of your site to places like Google. Thankfully, these methods aren’t nearly as diverse or difficult as you might think. In fact, we can hand over quite a lot of them very simply in the following list:

Keyword use in title tag
Anchor text of inbound links
Global link popularity of the site
Age of the site
Link popularity within the site’s internal link structure
Topical relevance of inbound links to site
Link popularity of site in topical community
Keyword use in body text
Global link popularity of linking sites
Topical relationship of linking pages

That’s a bit in-depth, and we’ll be covering more of these items specifically in the posts to come. However, we can give you this general tit-bit: Sites like Google are designed to recognize what people are talking about. This means that, no matter how much tweaking you do, the best way to gain traction is to simply create a site that people will use and discuss. After all, these spider bots are programmed to recognize popularity above anything else. As such, focus on your content more than your search engine optimization.