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Chapter 12. Optimize Your Content > What Search Engines Look For

What Search Engines Look For

As you learned in Chapter 10, “Get Your Site Indexed,” it can be a challenge just getting your page into the search index. When you do, you face your next challenge—what the search engine thinks of your page. An organic search engine categorizes your page according to dozens of criteria, some driven by explicit tagging, but others based on judgments the search engine makes from an analysis of your page. We investigate the most important criteria search engines look for, which they use to make two different kinds of decisions:

  • Filtering. For each query, search engines decide which pages are in the search results list and which are not. If your page meets the filtering criteria, it will be in the list somewhere.

  • Ranking. For each query, search engines sort the search results by relevance to decide which pages are shown at the top of the list. The better your page, and the closer it matches your query, the higher it will rank in the results.


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