How search engines see the web
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How search engines see the web


Hello there! Now, we’re going to look
at how search engines see webpages. Let’s go over how search engines
understand what’s on a web page which parts of the web page
specifically help them and how you can make your pages
more visible to search engines. In simple terms when you ask a search engine
to find something it looks through a huge list of
previously indexed pages called the Index. And pulls out relevant results
based on what you’re looking for. Pages make it into the index only after the search engine
has determined what they’re about. That way it can file them in exactly
the right place amongst other pages and find them the next time
a search relates to their content. By knowing how a search engine
decides what a page is about you can optimize your pages
to make sure they show up in search results of the people
looking for websites just like yours. Let’s say you own a coffee shop
and you’ve got a website to promote it. But when a search engine looks
at the same page in addition to seeing
what you see on your screen it also sees the code behind it,
called HTML. Specific parts of this code
help the search engine understand what the web page is all about and knowing which parts are important
can help you optimize your site. First part is the title
of the page in the code. In this example, you can see
the title in the tab at the top: Cotswolds Coffee Shop. The search engine sees the title
enclosed in a piece of code. This is called the title tag. Many web sites can be edited using tools that handle
all of the HTML coding for you. That’s called a content
management system or CMS. If you use a CMS
to make changes to your website there’s probably a place
you can add this title to. You can help the search engine
index your page properly by making sure your page title
accurately describes it’s content. That way it can show up
in relevant searches. The next thing you want
to think about is the pages text. Think about who you want
to visit your page and what words they’re using to describe
your products and services. Did they talk about fair trade coffee? Maybe they use the term
cappuccino instead of macchiato. These are probably the terms
they’re also using to search. Try to speak the language
of your customers when you’re writing your content,
because this can help ensure that they’ll find your pages
when they search. Finally, let’s talk about
the pages images. Search engines won’t see those
enticing photos of your coffee creations in the same way we do, which is a shame. But, what they will see
is the code behind it. To help search engines identify the image
give it a descriptive name. For example image.jpeg is not
a great filename for search engines. So you could try something that describes
exactly what’s in the picture like iced-peppermint-mocha.jpg. You can even take it one step further by adding alternative text
in the code with your image. This is known as an alt tag
and it describes the image. Which is useful for people using
web browsers that don’t display images or for people with visual impairments
who use software to listen to the content of the web pages. Again, if you use a content management
system to update your website there’s probably a place
you can add an alt tag to. So remember, use descriptive unique titles
for each page on your site. Write for your customers. But remember to include important words
and phrases that can help search engines understand what your pages are all about. And don’t forget to name image files
with descriptive words and include alternative text. Together all of these tips
can help search engines understand your pages and put them
in front of people that matter: your potential customers.

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