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IT Tips with Marcin Kulil: What is SEO:?search engine optimisation?

Last update - Friday, July 1, 2011, 17:48 By Marcin Kulik

Have you ever wondered how a search engine works? What makes your website appear in Google, Bing or other search sites?

First of all, we need to define what a search engine is. Not all search engines are made the same, but in general a search engine is driven by computer programs or scripts working from a database that stores information about many web pages. When you search for a reference or website, the engine references the database to retrieve the best possible results.

Search engines gets this database information by ‘crawling’ the web, using script programs called spiders to follow the links contained within sites across the world wide web. It’s very important to note here that web crawler or spider only deals with the background HTML code of web pages; it won’t recognise how beautiful your website looks, how interesting your text is, or how entertaining the video clips your website stores.

Once this information is collected, the next step is indexing. Search engines analyse the data to determine how to index it, extracting keywords and phrases from titles, headings and metadata within the HTML code. This information is then saved to the search engine’s database.

So now your website is indexed, what happens when a user types a search phrase in the search engine? Simply, the engine cross-references your search with keywords in the database to find websites with the best matching results, then displays them according to its assumed ranking of importance.

Website ranking is what search engine optimization, or SEO, is all about. Your website ranking is based on various different factors that vary for each search engine – and as search engines constantly change their ranking criteria, you need to keep on top. 

Optimising your site to include the most popular keywords is still the most important factor, however others such as links between your website and other popular sites, blogs and constant website updates must also be considered.

Find out how to do basic search engine optimisation for your website in the next issue of Metro Éireann.


Marcin Kulik is the owner of MK Design Studio, a creative web design agency based in Malahide Co Dublin. 

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