What's A Search Spider?


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Simply stated a Search Engine Spider is a Computer Program. Most computers have a software program you can use to find files on your computer. The program you use to do this is a basic search function. Search Engines collect data from all over the web. The program Search Engines use is a much more complex program that looks for information stored on websites on the internet connected to each other by links. Not an actual spider but the program acts like it “owns the web” looking for whatever is out there to take a snap shot of it, (cache) so it can keep track of what is developing on a site over time, to analyze it for content. It looks for links pointing at other websites, like the strands of a spider web that connect the internet.

The Search Engine needs to determine if the website has any content on it that might be relevant for search results. Just because a website it is built does not mean humans will find it. The Search Engine Spiders gather information from billions of sites every day. The Search Engine then takes the data presented by the Spider and applies a formula (algorithm) to the information.

The Formula is a mathematic equation that has (in the case of Google over two hundred) individual elements, that determine a value of the website. That value is referred to as a Page or Trust Rank. Websites that are determined to be relevant and have established a good history with the Search Engine will be presented at the beginning of the Search Results. The Highest value sites are presented in the Search results because the Search Engine has found them to be the most relevant answer to the search query, keyword or phrase.

The computer storage space required by the major Search Engines is staggering because they don't just take a snap shot of an individual website, they store the information from that website and assimilate it into it's data base. It then compares several "snap shots" of that same website over time to establish a trust value to the site. Multiply that with all the other sites on the internet and you can begin to understand the challenge.

Couple that with then retrieving those sites, ranking them in importance and relevance for a given search anytime a user like you wants to do a search and you begin to understand the complexity of the task. Since a Search Engine is only good as the results it produces for a search, you can see why some websites don't even get stored in the data base.

The old commercial where as soon as a website went live on the internet, customers began finding it and flooding it with orders was pure fiction. This is not "Field Of Dreams," where, "If you build it, they will come." You have to establish your site as worthy to be included in the game. Having a website that a Search Engine Spider can easily index is the first part of how your website will be found when your potential customers are searching for what you have to offer.

In the television series Star Trek, there were a collection of beings known as the Borg. Each individual Borg was connected to the collective so that their collective intelligence and technology could be assimilated and put to use. In this case, the Borg would be like a Search Engine constantly looking for the next website to assimilate into its collective data bank. The Borg scouts would be the Search Spider Programs, following links from one galaxy to the next.

In the television show the Borg were often quoted as saying resistance is futile. However in the case of Search Engines and your website, you want to be assimilated, found by the Borg. The trouble comes when the scout Borg, Search Spider, gets to your site and skips it without assimilating it. What has happened can either be that it, The Search Spider, has determined that your site has nothing unique to offer or that has been blocked by some information it found in the website information.

The first problem can be solved by offering more relevant content to prove your websites value. The next time the Search Spider comes by it will see the new information, find your site worthy and index your information so that it can be found by searchers looking for what you have to offer. As large as their data storage capabilities are Search Engines still have a limit to what they can use effectively. So impressing the Search Spider with your sites relevance is vital.

The problem of not getting indexed because of something on your site that actually stops the Search Spider from reading it can be as simple as a broken line of code or a misplaced command. The challenge here is that without content analysis tools, you are not going to know what is stopping the Spider. You just will not get your site into the index.

Search Engines zealously guard their system for sorting information. Search Engine Optimizers have to study the Search Engines to determine what is relevant to the algorithm to learn how to best present a website to be determined worthy of high search results. It is a full time operation because Search Engines are constantly reworking their algorithm elements to keep their information accurate. If you don't have that kind of time you need a SEO Pro to do it for you.

If you reside in the Northwest Washington Region, we would love a chance to meet you to discuss your web promotion needs.

We can actually do Search Engine Optimization for any business in the States but when possible we like to get to know our clients and put faces to names when we are working for you. No matter where you are, if your business depends on visibility in Search Results, give us a call and put our team to work for you. 800-789-0017