2.1 Introduction

A search engine is a database of web pages used to find and index web pages and search the database. Spiders, which are software that follow hyperlinks, are used by search engines to locate new web pages to index and ensure that previously indexed pages remain up to date. SEO is a strategic technique used to enhance the ranking of a website in the search engine listing. This technique involves manipulating dozens or even hundreds of website elements. SEO can be broken down into four major phases: keyword/critical phrase research and selection, getting the search engines to index the site, on-page optimisation, and off-page optimisation. A list of keywords and phrases is created during the first phase. These terms are what a user would enter into the search engine to find the site in the SERPs. In addition to developing a list of words and phrases, the SEO professional will usually determine how competitive each term is and how often they are used in a search. The second phase is focused on quickly getting the search engines to index the site. This is usually achieved by submitting sites directly to the search engines or by having an indexed site include a link to the target site. During the third phase, the Webmaster or SEO professional will manipulate various on-page components, such as Meta tags, page content, and site navigation, to improve the site in the SERPs. Finally, the main search engines consider the number and relevancy of links from outer sites to the target site. Therefore, SEO projects usually include a link-building phase (also called off-page optimisation), during which optimisers request links from webmasters and may use link-building programs.

This chapter consists of three main parts: the first part discusses the background of search engines, their types, and how they work. The second part discusses SEO’s experience, history, importance, and practical aspects. The third part discusses website types. In the third chapter, the researcher examined the literature review of search engines, websites, and SEO. In the fourth chapter, the researcher initially prepared the website by searching for keywords, indexing by adding the website Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to the search engines and directories and using free online SEO website reviews ( to provide preliminary on-page and off-page analysis. In the fifth chapter, the researcher optimised on-site factors. In Chapter VI, they optimised off-site factors (PR). In Chapter VII, they used Google Webmasters to monitor the results. Finally, in the booming world of SEO, it is always required to be updated about the most recent changes and developments, which requires continuous updates and close follow-up.

2.2 Background of Search Engines

A search engine is simply a database of web pages called an index, a method for finding and indexing them, and a way to search the database. Search engines rely on spiders, software that follows hyperlinks, to find new web pages to index and ensure that pages that have already been indexed are kept up to date. Although more complex searches are achievable, most web users perform simple searches on a keyword or keyphrase. Search engines return the results of a search based on several factors. When producing search results, the leading search engines evaluate the search term’s relevancy to sites in its index. So, searching for the word “car” would create web pages with something to accomplish with automobiles. The same algorithms used to determine relevance are regularly changed and often kept secret. For example, Google’s algorithm evaluates over 60 factors to determine relevancy.

2.2.1 How Search Engines Work?

A web search engine comprises four software modules, as depicted in Figure 2.1. The Crawling module retrieves new or updated pages, which are then passed on to the Indexing module. The Indexing module processes the information and creates a compact, searchable index, which is utilised for page ranking. Subsequently, the Searching module uses the index to provide ranked answers to incoming queries from remote users. Lastly, the Answering module generates the answer page and displays relevant advertisements related to the question. The architecture of a web search engine is crucial to its functionality, and these four modules work together to provide a seamless user experience.

Simplified software architecture of a Web search engine - Help Of Ai
Figure 2.1: Simplified software architecture of a search engine

Your website can’t appear in search results if it hasn’t been indexed. Unless you’re running a shady online business or attempting to cheat to the top of the SERP, chances are your website has already been indexed. Figure 2.2 displays an example of search engine results from Google.

Example of Google Search Engine Results
Figure 2.2: Example of Google Search Engine Results

2.3 Background of Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is a set of techniques to make a website appear at the top of the SERP for a specific query. While website owners and advisors have been using SEO for over a decade, the area has only recently received an alert in academic literature. The idea of optimising a website to appear at the top of the results when someone searches for a particular word or term has existed since the mid-1990s. About 6-10 companies, including Alta Vista, Excite, Lycos, and Northern Lights, conquered the search engine landscape. At that time, SEO mainly consisted of keyword stuffing, which indicated adding the search term multiple times to the website. A standard trick was repeating the search term hundreds of periods using white letters on a white background. Thus, the search engines would “see” the text, but a mortal user would not. SEO consists of four primary processes: 1) keyword/keyphrase research and choice, 2) indexing, 3) on-site optimisation, and 4) off-site optimisation.

2.3.1 Keyword research

Keyword density measures the frequency of a typical word or phrase on a website. There is considerable debate among SEO practitioners regarding the optimal keyword density level. Most agree that search engines will penalise the site if the keyword density is too high. However, since search engines do not show this level, determining the best keyword density usually requires a lot of trial and error.

2.3.2 Indexing

Indexing a website involves attracting search engine spiders to achieve a favourable ranking in search results. While major search engines offer a site submission form for users to submit their websites for consideration, most SEO experts discourage this approach. It is generally believed that search engines prefer discovering new sites through links from other sites, which is how spiders find them. Therefore, the primary indexing method is acquiring links to the website from frequently visited sites. While links from other sites can expedite indexing, a website usually takes several months to achieve a favourable ranking. For instance, many individuals have reported experiencing a delayed ranking effect on Google, known as the Google sandbox. This poses a particular challenge for marketers who wish to use SEO to promote seasonal or “hot” items that require rapid indexing and ranking.

2.3.3 On-Site Optimisation

Optimising a website for search engines involves making on-site changes to improve its ranking. This process, known as on-site optimisation, involves thoroughly analysing the website’s structure, content, and metadata to identify areas that require improvement. Once recognised, these areas are optimised to ensure the website conforms to best practices and standards, resulting in better visibility, increased traffic, and improved user experience. On-site optimisation is an essential aspect of any comprehensive SEO strategy, as it helps to establish a solid and effective online presence, which is critical to the success of any business or organisation operating in the digital age. Zhang and Dimitroff, Malaga, Raisinghani, and Curran all point out the importance of on-site optimisation. Some of the main on-site factors used by the search engines to determine rank include the title tag, Meta description tag, H1 tag, bold text, and keyword density. When creating website pages, it is essential to focus on two elements:

  1. The underlying design of the pages (directory system, naming files, internal /external links)
  2. HTML code ( meat, sitemap, contents, links, robot.txt, images)

The underlying structure of web pages encompasses the naming of files, directory structure, and internal/external links. Most search engine spiders face difficulties finding deeper pages within a website. A system with two or three sub-levels rather than five or ten is more beneficial. The HTML code includes the crucial elements of SEO, such as headers, image ALT text, text formatting, and robots.txt. The essence of SEO is contained within the Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keyword tags, and body text (web page content).

Optimal Structure for a Web site
Figure2.3: Optimal Structure for a Website Naming files:

Search engines get hints about the nature of a site from its domain name and the site’s directory and file structure. Some topics to think about:
1- Rather than make a directory named /types/, you could call it /red-flowerstypes/.
2- It’s always a good idea to use more descriptive names for your files rather than generic ones like gb123.jpg. For instance, you could use red-flowers-types.jpg to indicate what the file contains clearly.
3- Don’t have too many dashes in the file and directory names, though, because exaggerating it can force the search engine to miss the name.
4- You can split keywords in a name with dashes but not with underscores. Directory structure:

Keeping a flat directory structure on your website may be a good idea. Having your pages closer to the root domain is better than having a complicated multilevel directory tree [53]. The optimal structure for a website is similar to a pyramid, as shown in Figure 2.3. The significant node on top is the homepage; other nodes are internal website pages, while the edges are internal links between website pages. This structure has minimum relations between the homepage and any page. It’s helpful because it allows link juice (ranking power) to flow throughout the entire site, thus increasing the ranking potential for each page. This structure is standard on many high-performing websites, like Amazon. in in the form of category and subcategory systems. Web Page Internal/External Linking

Links are crucial for the success of a website. They can distinguish between being indexed or not by search engines and ranking well or poorly. Links within your pages serve multiple purposes:

  1. They assist search bots in finding other pages on your site.
  2. Keywords in links inform search engines about the pages that the links are indicating.
  3. Keywords in links tell search engines about the page, including the links.
  4. They allow users to guide a Web site.
  5. They help establish a data hierarchy for the shared Web site.
  6. They help circulate link juice (ranking power) on almost every website.

So when you’re making pages, create links on the page to other pages, and make sure that other pages within your site connect back to the page you’re making, using the keywords you set in your <TITLE> tag. Don’t create simple Click Here links, or You’ll Find More Info Here links. These phrases don’t help you. Internal Links are hyperlinks that indicate at (target) the same domain as the domain that the link lives on (source). It points to another page on the same Web site; they are commonly used in main navigation. Here’s an example of a well-constructed Internal Link: <a href= “” title= “Keyword Text”>Keyword Text</a> Links which are pointing to some other domain from your site are called Outbound Links (OBLs)(See Figure2.4). When you are linking out to related fields, it not only helps search engines understand your niche but also helps increase the trust and quality of your site. They play a vital role in a blog’s SEO.

Get targeted visitors. It gives search engines a clear idea about your blog because of appropriate links. The best way to be in touch with bloggers including the same niche. Here’s an sample of a well-constructed outbound Link: <a href=”” title=”link anchor text”>Link Anchor Text</a>

 Internal and External Links
Figure2.4: Internal and External Links

Anchor text is the visual characters and words that hyperlinks show when linking to another document or location on the Web. Search engines utilise this text to help define the subject matter of the linked-to record. See Figure2.5.             

Here’s an example of a well-constructed Anchor Text:           

<a href=””>Example Anchor Text</a> [58]

 The address of robots.txt file.
Figure 2.5: The address of robots.txt file.  HTML Head Area (Title and Meta Tags)

Meta tags are HTML elements used to describe a webpage. Although not visible on the page, they are crucial in search engine optimisation. They help search engines understand the content of a webpage and decide its applicability to a user’s search query. Meta tags provide information such as the title of the webpage, its author, and keywords associated with the content. By including meta tags in the header section of a webpage, webmasters can improve the visibility of their website in search results. The Meta Title tag is significant in SEO as it is the page’s first content that a search engine spider encounters on each page indexed by a search engine. <TITLE> tags tell a browser what text to display in the browser’s title bar and are also very important for search engines. Search bots read page titles and use that information to determine the pages’ content. If your <TITLE> tags have a keyword between them that competing pages don’t have, you have a good chance of getting at or near the top of the search results. These tags are usually wasted because few sites place valuable keywords in them. The first words in the Meta title tag are essential; I would venture to say the first five or six words are of the utmost importance when optimising a page. It’s important to note that the relevance of words in a title decreases as the length of the title increases. This means that comments towards the title’s end are less critical than those closer to the beginning. Additionally, the DESCRIPTION Meta tag summarises the content on a web page and is used by several major search engines. This tag is highly recommended to improve your website’s search engine optimisation.

However, there are some bits of advice related:

  1. Keep them small and suitable to the page content. 
  2. Don’t attempt to repeat the contents of the Meta title in the Meta description, but rather create a summary sentence that compliments the Meta title and page content.
  3. Don’t penalise the Web page you are creating, but padding the Meta description with many keywords and phrases.
  4. Don’t use the same Meta description on every website page; this is not good.

Here’s a sample of a well-constructed DESCRIPTION tag:

<META NAME=”description” CONTENT=””>

The KEYWORDS Meta tag was initially made as an indexing tool: a way for the page author to tell search engines what the page is about by listing keywords.          

Here are a few points to consider, though:

  1. Limit the tag to 10 to 12 words.
  2. You can divide each keyword with a comma and a space.
  3. Ensure that most keywords in the tag are even in the body.
  4. Don’t use a lot of duplication. 
  5. Don’t use the duplicate KEYWORD tag on all your pages.

Here’s a sample of a well-constructed KEYWORD tag:

<META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=””> HTML Body Area (Alt Tags, Heading, and Content)

When creating a webpage that you want to be found by people in search engines, it is recommended to have a good amount of text, typically between 200 and 400 words. However, it is acceptable to have articles with over 1,000 words or pages with less text, depending on their purpose. This amount of content allows you to define the page’s topic and helps search engines understand what it is about. Designers can use CSS to determine how each element should look on a page, which is a helpful tool. However, HTML has different tags for headers, such as <H1>, <H2>, <H3>, etc. These are important in SEO as you can add keywords, which tells search engines that the keywords are essential. Search engines pay closer attention to these keywords than those in the body text. The <IMG> tag is used to insert images into web pages, and it includes the ALT= attribute, which provides alternative text. Search engines read ALT tags as they offer another clue about the page’s content. Content is a crucial factor in getting a high ranking in search engines. Each page has an opportunity to rank for specific keyword phrases. To improve your website’s SEO, focus on the text content and use common keyword phrases that people are searching for online. Pictures, videos, and sounds do not have text content, so they do not help your site get higher rankings. However, adding more textual content to your site is not always necessary. Some pages with a small number of keyword-laden text can rank highly. Search engines look for fresh, original content, quality, and relevancy. Creating well-written, substantial content that is relevant and timely is crucial.

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