How Does SEO Work

Does Your Website Stand Out

Making a unique mark on the web can create a wonderful SEO base.
Making a unique mark on the web can create a wonderful SEO base. | Source

What Does SEO Stand For

I did the research, so you don't have to!

I know it sound ridiculous, but a few years ago I had no idea what those mysterious letters "S.E.O." meant. What I did know was that Search Engine Optimization was the first thing you should learn when considering how to make money online. Why? Because search engines, I have since discovered, manage the four primary functions that help your online presence gain popularity; and popularity is what it is all about.

The Four Functions Of SEO

  • crawling
  • building an index
  • figuring relevancy plus ranking
  • and finally serving results

How Does SEO Gain You Popularity Online?

By doing the following every single minute, of every single day...

  1. Crawling

  2. Indexing

  3. Relevance & Ranking

  4. Serving Results

Define SEO

What Is SEO Online

Now, by telling you the four functions it doesn't mean I expect you to understand them, I know I didn't. I had to look around and read several bits of information from around the web and also in some really great articles here on HubPages.

Providing you're still with me, here we go. One by one I am going to give you the breakdown on what each of the four functions of "SEO" can mean to you.

SEO Crawlers

Crawlers seemingly "crawl" to every nook and cranny on the web to find the best path (that is also the fastest) to the information the searcher is looking for.
Crawlers seemingly "crawl" to every nook and cranny on the web to find the best path (that is also the fastest) to the information the searcher is looking for. | Source

Defining The 4 SEO Functions

Understanding SEO Functions

#1 CRAWLING:

  • It boils down to what we can imagine happening in cyberspace. Think of the web as a network of locations along a busy city transit-route. (This location is most likely a web page, but could also be a JPG, PDF, or any other file). The search engine requires a way to find or "crawl" to every location along this transit-route. Being efficient, they want to use the best and most direct path to these locations, we call them links. These links are what we are trying to create, a direct and efficient path to our web page or file. The search engine is going to find the highest ranking link (path) to a location (your page), thus making the trip (search) the best experience to the best location desired. If you can create the best links to your page, you have accomplished SEO.

  • The link configuration of the world wide web is the thing that binds together all of the pages ever created and that are available to access. The links we create are used by the search engines automated robots, called "spiders" or for our purpose here, "crawlers" to access all of the billions and billions of connected pages.

SEO Indexing

Indexing is like the Filing Storage Units within the SEO functions.
Indexing is like the Filing Storage Units within the SEO functions. | Source

#2 INDEXING:

  • Now that the search engines have located all of the pages, the pages have to be indexed; they extract information and store it within huge hard drives (storage units) found everywhere on earth (practically) to be easily recalled when some person makes a request/query online. The search engines have a tough job, they provide access for the billions of world wide web users to every page stored. In our society we are very enveloped in the concept of "now means right now". So when you make a request of any of the major engines, you demand results within seconds. Having to wait even 4 or 5 seconds could send you looking elsewhere for your information. Thus, the engines work very hard to provide you with the fastest and most accurate information.

SEO Determines Relevance and Ranking

Search Engines must thumb through millions of files to determine which one is most relevant to a search query. Then, decide which is most popular (ranks highest) for the best search results.
Search Engines must thumb through millions of files to determine which one is most relevant to a search query. Then, decide which is most popular (ranks highest) for the best search results. | Source

#3 RELEVANCE & RANKING:

  • It is "relevance" and "importance" that search engines set out to influence. Every time a person is searching for something online the engine has to look through all of the billions of pages stored away and provide both of these functions—call up only the information that the searcher will find relevant and helpful to the query, and also provide a "ranking" for that information in the order of importance that the stored data is assumed to have.

  • Relevance means more than putting words on your page that get searched for by the public. The search engines have developed an evolutionary approach to results, and have very smart engineers that came up with better ways to assess such data. I learned that in early web search design, engines didn't think they needed smarter ways to extract the requested information.The fact that their simplistic methods showed negative results, caused the search engines to rewrite the methods of data search and word identification on the web. This means that today, many things influence the way a search engine will extract data and rank it, it also means that when you conduct a search, the results will be far better and more on target than in the early web search days.

SEO Serves Results

SEO serves results that give the searcher files, site, images (or other) that are known to be the most popular, thus are interpreted as being the best choice among all probable picks.
SEO serves results that give the searcher files, site, images (or other) that are known to be the most popular, thus are interpreted as being the best choice among all probable picks. | Source

#4 SERVING RESULTS:

  • Search engines do a really good job at a very difficult task, which is quantifying the importance of the information they extract from the storage units during a query. As it stands, the major engines tend to interpret popular as important . Which, has actually worked out in providing some of the best results available. It is bothersome to assume because something (a page, document, file, or site) has popularity it also has higher quality information. I guess there is something to be said for experience after all; besides I also learned that the search engines continued use of metrics that interpret popularity, increased user satisfaction significantly. So it would seem, popular is in fact important.

How Do You Achieve The Best "SEO" For Your Site?

I am still learning how to go about the very important marketing task of finding the best SEO for my work. I have found a number of spectacular hubs by some spectacular writers on this very subject (← they are listed at left). In reading every-bit of the hubs I liked out there on SEO, I gained an immense amount of online savvy pretty quickly. Be assured that I have them bookmarked to assist in optimizing my search know-how as I continue to learn all I can to provide better information for readers and better income for hubbers! The goal is to never feel as if you know it all, because every day something new is almost sure to pop up. To miss the new stuff, would be like missing the proverbial boat!

What Do You Think?

Did you learn things you didn't know about the 4 SEO Functions in this article?

See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments for "How Does SEO Work" 20 comments

K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Megan~ SEO has a lot to it, but it sounds like you have been working hard to learn as much as possible! I wish you luck in your quest. Feel free to ask questions, we are here as a community and if we all work together we can thrive. The HP forums can get you lots of info fast!

Welcome to HubPages!

Cheers~

K9


Megan Coxe profile image

Megan Coxe 5 years ago from somewhere between here and there

Whew, as of a week ago, I had no idea what SEO meant. I´ve learned a lot in a week. Thank you for the clear and useful information!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Wesman Todd Shaw~ What a really great point! Most people seem to be unaware of the importance of the "comments" section. As you briliantly point out, the social aspect of increasing one's popularity is seriously based on good quality unique content carried on the back of strong social interaction. To underestimate the power of loyalty is to miss the entire point all togerther!

Awesome comment Sir! Thank you for palying along.

Cheers~

K9


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I think for something to be popular it's going to take increasing levels of . . .well, basically whatever is appealing to the eye, and also some sort of social interactivity.

I still see people that don't return comments on their own hubs - I don't understand how someone can miss how important that is.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

PegCole17~ Awesome! I am so happy you found the seo information here helpful. Thank you so much for making it by today for a read. I love linking to other hubbers, I think it says a lot for the quality of writers on this site; I am a pretty picky old bird when it comes to liks, so I only pick the best, which also helps increase the seo value of the hub I am linking from! ;)

HubHugs Peg~

K9


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

I like the way you set up this hub using links to articles by you and other authors. What a great way to promote the work of others without adding a link capsule. I love it and learned quite a bit here. Thank you! Voted up and linking to yours. :-) Peg


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

LeanMan~ Thank you for the read!

K9


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba

Nice hub, we are all learning more on here everyday.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

drej2522~ You make my day. I am so pleased that I am not the only one that didn't get the SEO thing. I was afraid to ask anyone because it just seemed that I should already know....I had no idea until I read some of the hubs listed in this hub on seo, keywords and adsense! I still have so much to take in! Thanks for the read.

K9


drej2522 profile image

drej2522 6 years ago from Augusta, GA

SEO is definitely a scary acronym for most (including myself). search engine optimization is daunting and downright frustrating, yet it is important for all us to learn. Thanks for making it a little easier on us!

This article is in my bookmark! Thumbs way up!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

IzzyM~Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate your time!

K9


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 6 years ago from UK

Nicely laid out hub, full of practical information :)


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Thank you so much everyone for writing great hubs for me to refer to, I learn so much from you all. It has been very difficult to grasp all of the new words and phases here on the hub. So when I learn something new and can share the info, like the SEO thing, I feel I have taken a step forward! Looking forward to learning LOTS more about keywords, seo and ranking! Go 60DC2 team! I appreciate all of the comments!

K9


Pro Design Source profile image

Pro Design Source 6 years ago

Awesome article that laysout the concept of SEO. I stumbled into this crazy (but awesome) job. Wish I had read the basics in an article like yours.


viking305 profile image

viking305 6 years ago from Ireland

K9 like yourself here at HubPages I too have been learning all I can about SEO. It's no good writing good articles if no one can find them on the internet to read them.

The information you have provided about SEO here is very easy to understand for all newcomers. I have read the articles from the other hubbers you have provided links to and agree that they are a must read for anyone wanting to learn about SEO.

I will bookmark this page for future reference as your info is brilliant too. Have also voted up this excellent hub


ZarkoZivkovic profile image

ZarkoZivkovic 6 years ago from Serbia

Well, it seems you understand the basics, now to work on your results and implement what you have learned so far...


Dobson profile image

Dobson 6 years ago from Virginia

K9 - You have succintly laid out the process so anyone can get it. A fine job of highlighting the kley points so we can begin to chew on the tenets of the process. Excellent work!


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 6 years ago from USA

K9, I love this approach to explaining SEO, something I know little about!!! I'll bookmark and re this again! thx


JMPruitt profile image

JMPruitt 6 years ago from Orlando

Congrats. SEO is one step that you need to learn. Just don't get so focused on search rankings that you fail to get the huge numbers available out there. you can get a lot of traffic without relying on search if you really want it bad enough.


Wendy Krick profile image

Wendy Krick 6 years ago from Maryland

I'm so glad that I am not the only one who didn't know what SEO meant. I finally figured it out a year ago or so. Great Hub.

Submit a Comment
New comments are not being accepted on this article at this time.
Click to Rate This Article
working