So if you've ever wondered what the primary goal of a search engine is, you're not alone. Many people ask this question daily, and our purpose in this article is to answer that and any other related question you might have! We'll go over what a search engine is, its goals, and how you can ensure your website is doing what it can to improve the chances search engines bless you with the best rankings.
The Primary Goal Of A Search Engine
The primary goal of a search engine is to provide the most relevant and high-quality content possible to a user in hopes of answering their question. In addition, they hope to provide their users with the best user experience possible, so they will track how users respond to content. A major factor taken into consideration to rank content higher deals with user interactions.
Later in the article, we will describe what a search engine is, but as far as the primary goal of a search engine, that's pretty much it. To serve you - the user - with the most relevant, high-quality content.
What Is A Search Engine
So now that you understand the primary goal of algorithms, what is a search engine? Simply put, it is a program that uses algorithms to answer users' queries. A user will ask a question, such as "What is the primary goal of a search engine" and search engines - using algorithms - will sort through a database in search of the most credible and relevant results. Once the search engine finds those results, it will then serve them to the user in hopes of providing them with the best content and user experience possible.
Search engines all have slightly different algorithms, but Google is the king by far. If you optimize your content to perform well in Google, you shouldn't have to worry about ranking in the other lesser engines, as it generally translates reasonably well.
What Is The Purpose Of Search?
So the purpose of search is trifold and depends on who or what is doing the searching.
The Purpose Of Search If You Are Doing The Searching
If you are doing the searching, it's generally to learn, grow and understand. You are doing research generally to answer a question or find a resource, product, or service. Generally users tend to use search engines over other methods of researching information because they tend to be more comprehensive than any other method of sifting through information. You'll normally find that search engines are the most complete sources of information on any topic. Due to this, you might use search engines for any type of research, education or topic of interest just based on this reason alone - it has been proven to be the most accurate, efficient, and quick way to find the answer to any question you may have.
The Purpose Of Search If The Search Engine Is Doing The Searching
A search engine's purpose has to do with you. What have you provided in the form of a query or question? Based upon what you have asked, as stated above, it will search through its database to find the most relevant, quality, prompt response possible. The entire goal of a search engine is to serve, so it's feeding off of the information given to provide the most accurate, quality and trustworthy source of information possible in hopes of satisfying your search intent. We'll create an article on search intent in the future, but it's basically just the angle with which you approach a question.
For example, are you typing "dog groomers" because you want to find a book, a movie, or a service provider near you? Using the contextual clues provided, search engines will attempt to serve results that make the most sense with the language given. If you were to type "dog groomers," that can mean almost anything. Again, it can refer to a book, a movie title, local businesses, etc., However if you type "best dog groomers near me," it tells search engines that you're wanting to see a curated list of dog groomers in your current area, and it will spare you from having to sift through books, movie titles, blogs, youtube channels, etc.
How Reviews Can Help Improve Your Chances Of Ranking In Search Engines
You always want to ensure that you provide the best user experience for your visitors. A search engine - Google especially - will reward you for providing the best user experience possible. That ultimately is their goal. So, regardless of the type of review a client has left you, always ensure to respond, because it shows that you care about the user experience of your visitors. Not only will you boost your rankings, but you'll also gain more clients because they'll read your responses and see that you truly care about them, even after they've already bought your product/services. So always ensure that you are keeping a careful watch so that you can respond to your reviews in a timely manner, and you will be rewarded for it!
How Do Search Engines Use Sitemaps?
Sitemaps help in so many ways! Companies like Google are always looking for ways to improve the efficiency and speed of their algorithms, so sitemaps are great ways to ensure that there is no trouble reading, finding, and organizing each page of your website. Search algorithms can generally discover all pages on your website quickly enough. Still, sitemaps are great if your internal linking structure isn't that great or even as a way to improve your SEO, as sitemaps are essential for your SEO strategy.
Even though these algorithms are advanced enough to find each page on your website, if you have landing pages with no links on your website, it can take a long time for search engines to discover these pages and any new pages you create in general. So sitemaps are great ways to ensure that search engines will not miss your updates whenever you add new pages.
Because search algorithms create incredibly competitive environments for similar businesses/websites, you must take advantage of any resource and ability at your disposal to improve your chances of outranking your competition, and sitemaps are a great way to do just that.
What Do You Need To Balance When Doing SEO?
The key to any successful SEO campaign is balance. When executing your custom SEO strategy, you must keep up with all the aspects we're about to mention. Doing so is a full-time job, which is why many companies outsource their SEO strategies to an SEO agency like ours. We are an SEO company that works with companies in a variety of industries. So - getting started - the first of these aspects you need to balance is on-page SEO.
On-page SEO is exactly as it sounds - SEO is done on each web page. On-page SEO deals with content creation and optimization. You'll want to ensure that you know which keywords you are targeting, that you create quality content geared towards those keywords, and that everything on those pages is in accord with Google's SEO standards. Your images need to be sized and titled appropriately, with the proper alt-tags. You need a quality HTML structure with optimized headings, internal link structures, etc. We have articles about each of these things, so if you want to take your SEO into your own hands, we highly suggest you read more of our articles.
In fact, we even have an article that walks you through things you should and shouldn't do in web design that are very connected with on-page SEO.
Off-page SEO deals mostly with outreach. Off-page SEO means reaching out to other reputable website owners and acquiring backlinks, guest-posting, obtaining quality local citations, etc. It also means content promotion. The content you created in On-page SEO needs to be promoted if you ever hope to rank for anything. Meaning you need to be sharing this content everywhere. In forums, on your social media accounts, in YouTube videos, podcasts, etc. Off-page SEO also deals with reputation management. Reputation management means that you are taking control of where and why your business/website is mentioned online. For example, you want only accurate information to be posted. Even small things, such as duplicate Yelp listings, can hurt your ability to appear in the rankings, and off-page SEO requires that you pay close attention to places your website is mentioned.
Analytics is arguably the most challenging aspect to balance when doing SEO because it means you will be spending a lot of time going through your statistics to ensure you see the types of results you want to see. If you are ranking #1 with one of your blog posts, with detailed analytics, you will notice when a competitor steals your #1 spot, so you can then work on creating more quality content to steal your #1 spot back from them. Careful analysis shows you when it's time to fix, alter or change something. Analytics is ongoing and becomes more involved the further into your campaign. Still, it is by far the most rewarding and beneficial of the three because, without analytics, your SEO campaign will be incredibly inefficient.
Hopefully you found our article helpful! If you have any more questions regarding search engines, SEO, or web design & development in general, we have many more blog posts dealing with similar topics. If you are interested in learning more about search engines, and how ranking works, we have an article that describes how keyword optimization works.