How do search engines work?

A Web Search Engine is a particular type of program which is designed to send out a spider to fetch as many documents on the web as possible. Another program, called an indexer, then reads these documents and creates an index based on the words contained in each document. Each search engine uses a algorithm to create its index so that, ideally, only relevant results are returned for each query.

We can find a variety of Search Engines throughout the World Wide Web. Some of the most commonly used Search Engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yandex and Baidu. In our article we will mostly be focussing on Google since it is the preferred Search Engine for most of Ecommerce Wiki's readers.

Apart from the Search Engine results based on the relevancy algorithm, often called organic or natural results, there is another set of Search Engine results that may appear with a particular Search Query. Now we have come to the concept of Search Engine Advertising, also called SEA. Search Engine Advertisements are advertisements shown on search engine pages when specific keywords are typed.

How does Search Engine Advertising work?

An Internet user goes online with the reason to search for something on a search engine site, for example www.google.com.

Based on the type of search query Google shows two types of search results: organic and sponsored results. The sponsored text ads are above and below the organic results, with a maximum of 7 ads per search result page (4 above and 3 below).

The sponsored ads are recognizable by a yellow or green label with "Ad" before the URL. All sponsored results are linked to specific keywords, and therefore only appear when these keywords are entered in the search bar. The Internet user selects a specific search result by clicking on it, in this case the advertisement. The Internet user is then led to a landing page, from where he can continue that particular Internet journey.

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