The Foundation of Search Engine Optimisation: How Search Works

Foundation of Search Engine Optimisation | Just Perfect

You don’t need to be an expert in search engine optimisation to know that Google is the most powerful and popular search engine on earth (it is, after all, the only one to have its name become a verb). It is because of just how good Google Search is that many of us don’t even think about what goes on behind the scenes, which enables a machine to generate search results that almost feel like it is reading your mind and anticipating your needs. If you’re interested in using SEO for your own website, or you work with an agency that offers SEO services, it is very useful to gain a basic understanding of how Google Search works, in order to get the most out of search engine optimisation – a growing IT field that continues to boom year after year.

Google’s search tool software, known as Googlebot, is at the centre of all search engine optimisation. Googlebot is constantly “crawling”, looking for new websites, changes to existing websites, and errors such as broken links.

The web crawlers then report back on all of the websites they have visited, and update the famous Google index. Unbelievably, this index is 95 Petabytes in size (that’s 95,000,000,000,000,000 bytes).

So how does relevant information get picked up from the index and delivered to the searcher? It’s a lot more complicated than just fishing around and pulling out a file. Many factors are taken into account to deliver the most accurate search results. Some of these are known to the public and are taken advantage of by search engine optimisation specialists, while many are a closely guarded company secrets. The known variables include:

  • Relevance (the type of data presented on the site, and how it compares to the search terms)
  • Content quality (even spell-check is used to distinguish professional sites from bad ones)
  • How recent the content is
  • The geographic location of the user
  • The site’s name and URL
  • Synonyms for the search terms used
  • Social media links and promotions
  • Number of inward and outward bound links

Foundation of Search Engine Optimisation | Just Perfect

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GoogleBot is  an extremely intelligent software and is constantly being tweaked for even greater effectiveness. For example, both the quality and quantity of links are taken into account when indexing. So a site with 10 high quality links will be ranked ahead of a comparable site with 20 low-quality links.

This is only a basic outline of Google Search, but a good general understanding of what is important and what is not, is an essential starting point to creating a site that ranks well in the shortest amount of time. For more information on Just Perfect’s SEO services and how we can help get you to the top of page 1 results, contact us by emailing

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