In December ’11, during my visit to Bangalore, my dad told both my sister and me that he had been saving all the letters and cards from our childhood and we should go through them and take with us all that we find important. Both of us spent hours reading the letters from our dear cousins and friends of childhood, all the love letters from before my marriage, not to forget the thousands of cards that Nikhil gave me during our courtship and before days. Late at night, I found to a book of mine that I used to maintain during my school-college days. It had over 150 poetries written by me. I had long forgotten about its mere existence until that day. I was awake till 4AM going through it and catching up on fond memories.
As a small business owner in my own life, I took a lot of time and effort to initially create the book that I was very proud of. As other responsibilities and commitments came upon me, I did not take the time and effort to update my book with new and fresh content(website of my life). As a small business owner, your business grows and you concentrate on looking after your existing customers, vendors, acquaintances in your life. Periodic and relevant website updates fall of your radar and becomes less important until it disappears from your memory or faintly remains at a forgotten part of your brain. Is this what you want your website to become in the world of search or do you want your site to always be available to those people that matter?
Always keep your website content fresh, relevant and interesting for both your current and prospective clients, not to forget your dear friends and family
What are the different ways by which someone can reach your website?
Directly: You give them the URL (unified resource locator) of your website and a person types (or copies) it in the browser location window (e.g. www.urmilasinghal.com )
Search: Somebody searches on a search engine (for a keyword) and finds your website in the results page of your search. For e.g. if you type “Urmila Singhal” on a search engine, one of the results returned will point to www.urmilasinghal.com
Referral: A referral from one website to another
Social: A link from my Facebook or Twitter account to my blog account
Search Engines and their functionality
The major functionality of a search engine is to crawl and build an index and provide answers to a user based on relevancy and rank
Crawling and indexing
An index for a 1000 pages book is created by going through all the content and noting the keywords (important words) and their location for what the readers might be interested in and placing it at the end of the book. Search engines crawl (go through) all the active websites (~ 644 million active websites and 7.65 billion pages), their pages, their links and build indexes based on certain very complex algorithms.
Search Engines are super intelligent systems which try to decipher what a person is looking for, go through all the data they have and return results based on complex algorithms (based on relevancy and ranking) and they are always improvising.
As a last note in this post, always remember that search engines consider that importance is directly related to popularity. The more popular a site is, the more valuable the information contained in it is from a search engine point of view.
More about what a popular site means in the next blog post.