Computer Science 1033A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Search Engine Optimization, Web Crawler, Backlink

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COMPSCI 1033A Textbook Notes/Summary: Websites IV
Online Visibility
Search Engines
- After publishing a website, the next step is to get exposure
- Many people use search engines (ie: Google) to find sites regarding information about a
topic … even when they already know about certain sites, its usually easier to do a
search rather than type in a full URL
i. It is beneficial to know the basics of how search engines work to get into the
result lists on the first page from a search
ii. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
How Search Engines Work
- 2 distinct phases that occur in a search engine:
i. Web crawler building & updating a massive index or database
a. Records each webpage’s URL, keywords on the page & additional meta
b. This is done by a web crawler … also called a spider or bot: a piece of
software that navigates the web scanning & jumping from pages, logging data
about the pages & content it finds
c. The web crawler builds & updates the index regularly so that newly
edited/created websites get added to their system
d. The whole process is independent of anyone’s search query & is unknown to
the public
e. The index is dependent on keywords
ii. User entering a search query & expecting a list of relevant results
a. Search engine doesn’t do any web crawling at this time (as it has already
been done & will take too long to execute at every search query) … takes the
query words & looks for them in its pre-existing index (sorting keywords in the
initial database is beneficial as it is quick to look for the entries based on each
of the words in the user’s query)
b. The webpages that match up with the entries are then gathered together in a
large list which is shown on the search results page
c. Webpages may be sorted alphabetically, chronologically based on when they
were last updated, etc. … but what is important: the order of the results being
displayed isn’t bound to the order of the webpages as they are recorded
within the index entries
d. PageRank: orders search results based on popularity … indicated by the
amount of in-bound links (links pointing to your website from other domains),
this equals popularity by association (from the other websites) if a popular
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