The success of a search engine is measured
by the relevance of its search results. This
fi nal job of displaying the search results
in your web browser is handled by the
page-ranking component of a search
engine. People who dabble in search engine
optimization make it their task to fi gure
out ways to program web pages so as to
enable them to show up within the fi rst 10
results of a search query. Hence, unraveling
the secrets of the algorithms employed by
the search engines can help enthusiasts
create pages with the high rankings.
Although the inner details of the
algorithms employed by the search engines
are not publicly available, the manner
in which the results are displayed gives
some insight into the criteria used for
ranking pages. These tell-tale signs could
be the title of the web page, headings,
links of titles within a page, frequency and
prominence of a word on a page, popularity
of a link, freshness of information on that
page, etc.
Some users employ devious means
to wrongfully create pages to appear at
the higher ranks in a search query even
though the page might not contain
relevant information. This is known
as “spamdexing”. People who practise
spamdexing are called search engine
spammers. There is a subtle difference
between search engine optimization and
spamdexing. Spamdexing is more of a
crooked art aimed at misleading search
engines while SEO is the art of adding
quality-rich results to a search query, in
such a way that the page gets listed by
way of its own merit. There is a downside
though to spamdexing which makes the
spammers wary—if the search engine
concludes that a particular page has
resorted to deceitful means to enhance
its ranking, the particular site can be
blacklisted and not considered in the
future. The golden rule is that a page gets
listed only if it has original quality content.