By Lauren Kade
Mar 22, 2011
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After a delicious networking lunch, I’m now attending “Introduction to Information Retrieval on the Web” with Mike Grehan, Chair of the SES Advisory Board. This sounds like a fascinating session about the ins and outs of how search engine crawlers gather and index information.
Information Retrieval vs. Data Retrieval
How Search Engines Work
What Crawlers are Looking For in Your Page:
Today, search engines are more interested in what other people think of your website (i.e. how many links point to your site). But it’s not only about quantity- it’s about quality.
Link analysis can uncover “cyber communities,” or pages that are in a specific narrow field of interest. Links from within your own community are high quality links, and can help you expand your link building. If you can find the “pope,” or the biggest influencer in your cyber community, and can get a link from their site to yours, that’s the best quality link!
Co-citation: if page C links to both A and B, yet A and B are not linked to each other, if enough pages link to both A and B, search engines will learn that A and B are related.
Changes in End User Behavior
With the latest algorithm updates, images and video are showing higher in the listings. These media types are eye-catching, and receive more clicks. People are also interacting almost constantly today, 24-7; this is called connected marketing. Decision makers no longer act independently of each other but are all the more connected to other consumers.
Understanding User Intent
User intent on search engines can be either:
Google follows a series of user queries to learn what he actually wanted. For example, if a user searches for “special edition” first, then realizes the results are not what he wanted, he will research using a different query. At the end of his multiple tries, the user searches using the query “limited edition” which has the results he was looking for. The next time someone else searches “special edition,” Google will give them some “limited edition” results, after learning what people who search for “special edition” want.
The Future of Search