A Study On Search Engine Optimisation Computer Science Essay

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Introduction to this document

Search Engine Optimisation is used by millions of people every day to get their websites to that prized No. 1 spot in search engines, predominately Google. There are several people employed around the world whose job it is to sit there and make websites successful and liked by the search engines in a friendly and ethical way.

Often doing little things to a website can have a major impact on your website and this document will be able to inform people on what the search engines like, what they don't and also things that could make a search engine completely ignore your site for good.

Search Engines/Directories

Search engines and search directories are, in short, a place where people can go on the internet to help them with a query that they may have. A search engines will display the results after running the users query through a series of very complex algorithms to decide what is the most relevant to the user. A search directory will present a user with all sites relevant to a specific subject and the user will be left to decide what is most relevant to them.

History of the web and search engines:

The web, in recent years has become a web marketers dreams.

How they work

Search engines and search directories are completely different in the way that they hold information about a website and present it to a user. A search engines (or search index as they are sometimes called) main role is to search all of the sites it finds and store the information about a site within a huge database along with millions of other sites. Major search engines like Google and Yahoo will own thousands of computers that use software known as spiders or robots to search the pages, read them, and then store them. When they find the pages they only store the information that is of relevance to them and will use a complex series of algorithms to determine what happens to the site and its importance.

Search directories are different from search engines because they are a categorized group of information about a site instead of containing information about web pages. A search directory such as dir.yahoo.com or dmoz.org do not use spiders or bots to collect and store information as it will often only contain a title and a description about the site as a whole which is submitted by the site owner. These sites are moderated by people sitting behind a desk to make sure they have been put into the right categories and are genuine websites.

Where people search

There is literally thousands of places on the internet, where someone can carry out a query on a search engine. With the amount of search engines there are today, people are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding which one will provide them with an accurate result for their query.

Peter Kent (2005) States in Search Engine Optimisation for Dummies, that the percentages of people using specific search engines in the month of August 2007, over 8billion searches were recorded and the results are distributed as follows (these statistics are for US internet users only):

"Google.com 53.6%

Yahoo.com 19.9%

MSN.com (now Bing.com) 12.9%

AOL.com 5.6%

Ask.com 1.7%

My Web Search 0.9%

BellSouth Search 0.5%

Comcast Search 0.4%

My Way 0.4%

SBC Yellow Pages Search 0.4%"

These stats can be somewhat misleading as AOL will get its results from Google and My Web Search gets its results from Google, Yahoo, MSN (Bing) and Ask.


Picking keywords to match the content of a web site can sometimes make or even break the site and must be done correctly to stop the search engines thinking you are not just spamming the site or are not adding relevant keywords and attract the wrong type of audience to the site, thus making it pointless.

Getting search engines to recognize and index a site can cause problems

The importance of keywords

Keywords are vital to having a successful site and when a user, uses a search engine they are effectively searching your website for those specific keywords. If you pick the wrong keywords you will be targeting the wrong people.

Keyword phrases, length, density

Picking the right keywords is a little trickier than just guessing what people may search for in order to find your site via a search engine. Keywords often work best when they are strung into a short phrase between 2 and 5 words. If you were to put yourself in the users place, what would you ask If you wanted to find something specific, such as if you're looking for a product, what would you type? What problems does your product solve? Starting here will often be a good basis to start on.

A longer search phrase is also associated with better targeting and increased consumer desire. As you add various copies to pages you are more likely to appear in search results similar to your keywords which do not exactly match your more general keywords. Most good keyword phrases are generally 2 to 5 words.

Page TITLE tags


META tags

Keyword tools

Domain names

Content and copyright

The things search engines do not like


Text in images

Pasting from MS Word

Dynamic web pages

Session ID's in the URL

The different search engines






Short vs long


Importance of links

Trading links (reciprocal links)

Free and buying links

Link building

Static and cloaked links

Good vs bad links

Social Media





Tricking the search engines

Keyword stuffing/stacking

Hiding and shrinking keywords

Redirect and cloaking links

Tricks and strategies

Pay Per Click (PPC)