Search engines information to help you improve your online businessIt’s About Search Engines

Need to find out more about those wild and crazy database browser thingys we call Search boxes.  You know those big behind the scenes companies known as Search Engines, like Google, and Yahoo! and Bing. What the heck are they?  We use them every day to find all the swell stuff we want like “cell phones” “help I need a plumber“, and “what time is my favorite TV show on?”  We use Search Engines to find out about the weather, traffic and news. 

Search engines are so effective at gathering information that with all the billions, yes billions, of websites out there, we don’t use the newspapers, radio or TV to get information.  In fact, we don’t even need computers, all that information is available on our mobile devices, cell phones and tablets. If you are a business owner, you must use the Internet to bring more business. Making your website visible on the Internet, so people can find you on search engines (abbreviation: SE), is accomplished using SEO, also known as search engine optimization, and SEM, search engine marketing. A Search Engine Optimization company can help a website owner improve site visibility, traffic, and business profits.

Search Engines . . . What?

What is a Search Engine really? If you look up the definition of an SE there are some really in-depth and detailed descriptions, like the one on Wikipedia. “A web search engine is a software system that is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as search engine results pages (SERPs). The information may be a mix of web pages, images, and other types of files. Some search engines also mine data available in databases or open directories.

A Search Engine Is A Giant Bunch of Information

So, a search engine is a big time computer program, or series of programs that gathers information. It then organizes the information into databases. When someone asks a question on a search engine web page, this is called a “query.” The search engine program then matches the text in the query with the best answer from its stored data. Simple, right?

Well, actually, the SE programs (algorithms) are among the most complex computer programs ever developed. The databases stored by search engines are also the largest in the world. The Google SE database(s) (there are many) are the largest aggregation of data in the world, including any by the U.S. or any other government agency.

A Brief History of Search Engines

This video has information about search engine history.

As you can see in this video, the original SEs were very simple, leading to a great deal of abusive search engine optimization. Techniques that were used in the early days of search engines will now result in severe penalties for a website. These old school techniques are now considered spam. Google now is the undisputed leader in the world of search, but they weren’t always. Alta Vista and Yahoo! were giants until approximately 2005.

As Google’s influence expanded, it took over the search industry, now it is a total monolith, controlling more than 70% of all search. This number is higher when you include YouTube, the second largest engine in the search field. Google owns YouTube, which adds billions of searches per month to Google’s growing reach.