How search engines work
The importance of a high search rank on Google and Bing for law firms can be invaluable in relation to client awareness, especially for practices that are smaller in scale. We here at FindLaw Lawyer Marketing have already covered some of the tactics that firms can employ to make their site more attractive for search engines, but we've yet to cover the basics of how search engines actually operate.
How crawling and indexing works on search engines
Crawling: once a website becomes public, search engines such as Google employ web crawlers such as a 'Googlebot' which will go through webpages and follow links, drawing the data back to Google.
The process is initiated using addresses from previous crawls and sitemaps which are provided by the owners of a website, telling Google which pages exist on your site which will then ensure that the search engine is made aware of all of the pages that are on your site.
Indexing: during the crawl process, Google creates an index allowing the URL to be discoverable. Additionally, the indexing process allows Google to take note of information such as words used, and their locations, when the page was published, and what multimedia files are used within the page. The algorithm will then work its magic with the end result finding the pages that a person is searching for.
We may not always appreciate the almost seamless manner that search engines are able to serve up the pages we're looking for, and we have the search engine algorithm to thank for providing the answers that we were looking for. The algorithm will take into account factors such as the fresheness of the content, a person's location, and PageRank.
What is PageRank?
PageRank is essentially a determination of the quantity and quality of links which may be a measure of the importance or quality of the page of your firm. Furthermore, a website owner generally has no control of PageRank.
Well, that's a brief breakdown of how search engines work on a general level and it's hard not to be impressed with the amount of working parts involved to ensure that the results of a search will be just the thing a person is looking for. Hopefully.