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What Do Search Engines Look For?

Search engines index content on the web with computer programs called “bots,” which move through websites by “crawling” from link to link. In order to provide the most useful search results, search engines assess pages in terms of relevance and popularity.

  • Relevance: The relevance of content on a site depends on how closely it matches a search query. A site’s content is considered more relevant when the queried terms appear in the title or headings of the content and HTML tags.
  • Popularity: A website’s importance is measured by the number of times other sites link back to it. These are called back links, and when they come from a highly respected site, like the New York Times, for example, they carry more weight.

Search engine optimization (SEO) will help your site rank highly in popular search engine results. SEO is the act of optimizing a website (in terms of code, content and links) to increase traffic from major search engines, like Google, Yahoo! and Bing.