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Search Engines

The first place many people go for information now is the Internet. They find answers using search engines.

Hundreds of search engines operate on the Internet. Google is the most prominent, but there are many others.

Each search engine operates in its own way, but most send out bots (short for robots), computer programs that travel the Internet periodically looking for web pages and cataloging them.

When a bot finds a page, it catalogs it using the page's metatags (keywords, description, etc.), its text, HTML code, ALT text (HTML labels for images and graphics), links, and other aspects.

When a search engine user types a search term into a search engine, the search engine compares the term (word, phrase or formula) with the cataloged pages and lists the exact and close matches on a series of web pages, or SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Few people searching for a web page look beyond the first few SERPs. They may only look at one or two, or may go as far as 10, but there are often hundreds, even thousands of SERPs. Most are never looked at because the likelihood of there being a good match with the search term is small.

Your goal is to have the pages of your website listed in the first few SERPs. The way you do this is called search engine optimization.

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Tom Brosnahan