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Search Engines - The Different Types Of Search Engines & How They Work

Having trouble getting listed in a search engines? Your website not ranking as well as you would like? This page explains the how search engines work, how they gather the data that appears in their search results and the different types of search engines.

Crawler Based Search Engines

Major search engines these days are crawler based (Such as Google and AltaVista) which means that they will crawl or spider the pages of your website and index them in their databases accordingly. So when a user types in a search term the search engine will return the most relevant results based on the information they have stored in their databases.
If you change your any part of your web pages, crawler based search engines will eventually find these changes and this can affect your rankings. Your page titles, body content and other elements such as links and alt tags (image description tags) also play a role.

Human Edited Search Engines & Directories

Human edited directories (Such as the Open Directory) as the name suggests depends on people for its listings. When you submit a website to a human edited directory you are required to submit a description and also chose the category that you think is the closest match to your website content. An editor then reviews your submission, modifies it if required and then adds it if he or she thinks the content is good enough for inclusion. Very few submissions are actually added due to the large amount of submissions that these directories receive. They normally only add websites that are unique and have very good content.
Making changes your web pages has no effect on human edited directories. The only exception is that a good website, with good content is more likely get reviewed and added than for a poor website.

Hybrid & Mixed Results Search Engines

Some search engines also display mixed results (Such as MSN, AOL and Netscape) from both crawled sites and human added sites. These search engines may not always produce results that are as relevant as crawler based search engines due to the fact that they also add paid submissions. An example of this is MSN who use human added "paid" listings from Looksmart.

More Resources For Webmasters

Recommended informative websites and free webmaster resources.
Ze News - Internet Marketing Resource
Ze New is one of the best resources for search engine marketing information.
Using Google - Moving Beyond Keywords
Website Submissions
Web Page Check List
The WayBack Machine - Internet Archive
The WayBack Machine is a service by Alexa and the Internet Archive. Most Internet websites are archived periodically. You can even check and see how Google looked 5 years ago!
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