Search Engine Essentials - From a SEO...
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From a SEO point of view, Google is incredibly important, but it is also very frustrating. The sandbox effect means that new web pages are often not listed in the Google SERPS for many months after Google first becomes aware of them. This can prove frustrating for webmasters of new websites and makes analyzing SEO techniques specifically aimed at Google very difficult in the early months of a websites existence. Google also change the algorithm they use on a regular basis. This process is known as the 'Google Dance' and can result in some unexpected and quite dramatic changes in the ranking of a particular page within the SERPS.
Google also offers paid adverts in addition to its unpaid listings. Some of these adverts are also placed on the pages of its partners. It also provides SERPS for other search engines.
Yahoo used to be a web directory where human editors organized websites into categories. However in 2002 it made a shift to robot-based listings and used Googles database. Then in 2004 Yahoo started using their own database and algorithms. Yahoo has also purchased many other smaller search engines and directories, including some bigger names like Overture (which provides Yahoo's Pay Per Click ads), AltaVista and AllTheWeb. Technology from all of these has been used to build the Yahoo robot.
Ask Jeeves (Ask)
Ask Jeeves was originally marketed as a tool for finding the answers to specific questions on the internet. Because of this users often use it to search for information using whole sentences as questions rather than simple search terms such as 2-3 word phrases as used in most other Search Engines. Other than this it works in much the same way as other Search Engines. It is however fairly popular when users are looking for answers to specific questions and can therefore be an important search engine for websites containing lots of factual information and answers to specific questions. The results actually come from the Teoma Search Engine that it owns.
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