How To Understand search engine data collection… what's it all about?

Feb 9, 2013

Today we’ll be discussing Google search tools and how to better understand how your site is ranked.  Waving our magic wand of design is just not enough to help you understand the new Google algorithm methods.  Even as we work everyday with new technology, it requires all of us to stay focused and stay engaged.  To be successful site owners, you too must become active in learning the new SEO rules.  If you are lucky enough to be able to afford a professional SEO staff then all is well.  Otherwise, getting involved is the way to get noticed.
Data CollectionThe big guys (and that includes the techys at Google, etc) are not sharing their all of their secrets. They refrain from sharing all to discourage the bad actors that try to game the system. You know the type. These bad actors (as we call them) try every trick in the book to gain advantage over everyone else. The best we can do as site owners and SEO professionals, is to read and find out as much as we can about how the search engines collect data and how it is stored.

Search Engine Spiders & Scanning Page Content:

As search engine “spiders” as we call them visit your site, they make a copy of each web page, blog post, etc. and store the content in a data center. This method is how your site content first shows up as your target audience are searching for you. If your content is not scanned, then you have little chance for showing up anywhere on the web.

The SERP Page (ranking algorithims):

Let’s assume your content has been scanned and is now available to be found. When a user (searcher) performs a search function, they enter key words related to what they are looking for. At this point, the search engine returns pages of content based upon their keyword search criteria. They may see a list of web pages, links to websites, blogs, etc. containing this information. This is displayed on a page called “SERP” which stands for (search engine results page).  Your results will contain generic search results based upon your search criteria.  Thus you can see how important it is to make sure you are including key words in your page titles, content, blog posts, etc.

Knowledge Graph and How It Works:

Google has developed this past year and implemented a search tool called the “Knowledge Graph.”  It simply uses semantics it gains through scanning content, to pass on more than just generic information about people, places and things. This tool is useful when you are searching for a specific publication, book or article well known.  It works by providing more results than the normal generic information. For example, if you are searching for a particular book, the Knowledge Graph will provide you with more than generic information.  The results will display not only the name of the book, but also the books’s writer, and a short summation of what the book is all about.  Learning more about the tools that Google and top search engines work, will help to educate you about the latest methods of data collection.

Page Not Found ….what does this mean?

What does it mean when we click on a SERP page and it brings up a page that says, “page not found?”
This simply means the page no longer exists or it may have been deleted from a “live” website. It is important to remember that when a page of content is created and published to the web, you may edit the content if it is a page or a post on your site but it is never a good idea to delete or take down a page.
Once the content has been submitted to search engines, it will be on the web forever or until the individual server deletes the page. Unfortunately, some servers do not clear their data bases for several years. The best rule of thumb is to refrain from deleting content once it has been published.


Search engine data bases store copies of websites and page content. They store only content which has been scanned. To be clearer, search engines keep copies of only “scanned pages and content” not live pages. This means that as you make changes to your site or to your blog posts, etc you must once again submit the site to search engines. Search engine submission should be done about once a month if you are changing the site regularly and are adding new content.  By doing this you can be sure that your most current content will be picked up by search engines and listed.  Keep on top of new technology by learning abut new search tools like the Knowledge Graph.
Thanks for visiting and we hope you will return for more news and views you can use.
Article by Jean Holland-Rose
Chief Creative Officer & Marketing Strategist


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