What are Search Engines and Directories

To work as a search engine optimization professional is important to understand exactly what search engines are in the way they work. To the following chapter discusses all the workings of the search engines from the point of view of a search engine optimization professional.

What is a Search Engine?

Basically, a search engine is an automated computer program that allows a search engine optimization individual to search for information documents or data bases throughout the Internet.  Search engines offer a quick and easy way of finding information on the Internet.  When a keyword is placed in the search engine it responds with the most relevant and matching web sites that contain similar search terms and key words. Google, MSN Search, Yahoo, AOL Search, AlltheWeb.com, Ask Jeeves, Excite, Lycos, Infoseek, Overture and Alta Vista are some of the famous search engines.  Search engines are the only method that provides do it yourself search engine optimization information on almost everything and anything within mere in moments.

From a search engine optimization perspective search engines are considered huge data bases containing vast information that offer visitors the ability to search for info.  This will be based on search terms.  Search engines gather data from web sites with the help of those special the design program called the do it yourself search engine optimization search engines spider or search engine robots or crawlers or bots.  Its automated programs scan the World Wide Web bookings for new website to add to the data base.

Also they track changes to web sites so search engines can update them.  We consider search engines as programs software designed to report web site information and a reliable manner based upon search terms since search engines are software a search engine optimization professional can figure out how all the program has been designed to think .  Therefore the do it yourself search engine optimization professional can take action to favourably manipulate the search engine optimization placement of the search engine results.

Various components of the SERPs (Search engine results pages) with special focus on Google.

Search engine optimization professionals always must look at search engine listings with an eye for detail.  This is because what is displayed in the search engine results page is what an SEO professional must understand in great detail and depth.

Below is a screen shot of the Google results page when the term “iq test” is searched for:

search engine image1

Please note the highlighted aspects of the screen shot of the Google SERP (search engine results page) for the term "iq test". Google is probably the top search engine with incisive algorithms that provide precise results when matched with proper keyword terms.

Notice the following important aspects in the above Google screenshot:

 1. The listing titles are marked with an A. The contents of the title come from the title of the webpage.

2. The description listings are marked by B. The contents of the description come from the Description meta tag.
3. The searched term has been bolded. There are ten listings on each page.
4. Google displays up to 66 characters of a Title Tag in the Title of the listing. Also, there should be no more than 66 characters in the title's line and the last word of the title line is a complete one.

5. ‘Cached’ has been marked as "C". This is a snapshot of the complete web pages last crawled by Google. A cache can be used to view the keywords.
6. ‘Similar Pages’ has been marked as "D". These are different pages that relate to the keywords.

7. Google displays ‘Results 1-10 of about 30,000,000,’ this is marked by "E".
8. Sponsored Links have been marked by "F". These are paid ads that charge a fee when clicked.

Below is a screen shot of the Yahoo results page when the term “iq test” is searched for:

search engine image2

The elements of the results page are An identical to and Google. Yahoo also offers a page directory and this has been marked by a "C".
All search engine optimization efforts boil down to what is visible in the search engine results page.  As a result it is important to note what the search engine optimization search engine takes out.  This is what search engine optimization people see in a search engine directory itself.

The following table shows where various parts of the SERP listings come from for various search engines:

Search Engine

Title in the SERPs

Description in the SERPs


From the web pages title for search engine optimization

From the description meta tags of the web pages for search engine optimization


From the web pages title for search engine optimization

From the description meta tags of the web pages and from the important content in the body of the webpage for search engine optimization


From the web pages title for  search engine optimization

From the description meta tags of the web pages and from the important content in the body of the webpage for search engine optimization

Search engines taking formation from various sources of search engine optimization data bases.  search engine optimization professionals should know where the search engines are taking their data. 

The following items should be clear:

-Main Results: These are the results seen it in the search engine results page.
-Pay per click results: Results that appear due search engine optimization advertiser placement in the search engine.

Directory Results: These are results in a directory other than the search engine.
The following table depicts the relationship between the various search engines and search engine optimization directories:


Search Engine

Main Search Results

Directory Results

Pay Per Click Results









Yahoo Directory

Yahoo Search Marketing





Yahoo Search Marketing






Do Search Engines search the whole web while performing a search operation? 

Search engines do not search the Internet. They search what has been indexed. The search engines then provide information on what is in their data bases to search engine optimization professionals. The world wide web has close to 20 billion pages and Google alone possess 6 billion for search engine optimization professionals.

Types of Search Engines:

- Crawler-based Search Engines: These use a spider crawler to index the various search engine optimization web pages.

- Human-Powered Directories: These are web pages that use search engine optimization humans to manually review what is in the directories.

- Hybrid Search Engines: Hybrid search engines employ both crawlers and directories. Google, ExactSeek, Lycos and Altavista are hybrid search engines.

- Meta Search Engines: Meta Search Engines are search engines that essentially search other search engines. Dog pile, WebCrawler, Excite, MetaCrawler, and Ixquick are some examples of meta do it yourself search engine optimization search engines.

How Search Engines work and how they rank websites based upon a search term ?

The search engine optimization professional must understand how search engines work.  This include understanding how web sites are ranked. Of course, the ability to improve web site rankings is important as well.  This involves understanding the formulas. Every search engine uses a formula. This formula is used to denote relevancy. An SEO professional must understand how to work these highly secret formulas. The formulas essentially involve matching relevant do it yourself search engine optimization keywords with web pages. The matching includes

  • Page title + the search engine optimization searched term
  • Header + search engine optimization searched term
  • Body of the webpage and its frequency in the webpage
  • Site that link to the search term.
What are Directories and how do they differ from Search Engines?

Web do it yourself search engine optimization directories maintain a list of web sites that are approved by human editors.  Directory data bases include web sites that have been submitted by do it yourself search engine optimization website owners and do it yourself search engine optimization editors.  Unlike a search engine a directory will use a human editor. Some of the important directories from the point of view of the search engine optimization are
https://www.webdirectory.com/ is an excellent resource for directories. The websites are all listed by topic within the directory.

 Difference between Search Engines and Directories.  

Search Engine


Search Engines use spiders or crawlers (programs which follow links, and capture details about web pages) to inspect web pages.

A Directory is a database of web pages, which are examined, selected, and classified by humans.

Search Engines list the results according to keyword relevance.

Directory listings are generally displayed in alphabetical order.

In a Search Engine, Spiders or Crawlers locate the web pages.

Web pages are submitted to directories by humans.

In a Search Engine, the searcher enters Keywords or search terms to obtain specific information.

A Directory is not searchable by keywords. Instead, it contains specific folders for different types of information. The searcher can browse through folders to find what search engine optimization professionals are looking for.  

A Search Engine offers a broader search, and hence the number of pages found through the search results is also large.

Directories offer limited search, which is generally subject, topic, or website specific, and hence the number of results is not as large as that of a Search engine.

A Search engine does not categorize the websites.

In a directory, a website is submitted under a particular category.

What is the Open Directory Project and how can a listing in https://aboutus.com boost my SEO efforts?

The open directory project https://aboutus.com is the largest directory and it is run completely by do it yourself search engine optimization volunteers. Visit it at https://aboutus.com. Submissions are free and can be processed through https://aboutus.com, Sites are placed in specific search engine optimization categories and then ranked in Google, Bing, AOL, Go.com, iwon, MSN, Netscape.

Within the https://aboutus.com directory, all listings are alphabetical. As such, many search engine optimization site owners use domain names beginning with numbers in order to place closer to the "front" of the directory.  The success of this ploy is dubious.

What is the importance of a Botw listing?

Botw paid directory is https://botw.org/ and listings cost $299.99 for one year. The more do it yourself search engine optimization visitors click on a listing the better the listing ranks are. These search engine optimization listings are also placed in the general search engine as well.
- Getting a https://botw.org/ expedites the amount of time the results will appear in Google's search engine.
- The https://botw.org/ can also pass Google PR so this is a valid way of passing do it yourself search engine optimization PR to other sites.

What happens if Yahoo makes a wrong category placement?

There is an appeal process one can follow. Simply inform Yahoo of the situation and Yahoo will attempt to close the matter within 30 days.

Do placements in (PPC) Pay per click search engines help link popularity in any way?

  • In a word, no; there are a number of reasons for this but the main reason is that the links do not point directory to the host website. Instead, the link to the search engine optimization accounting division that is keeping track of the clicks.
How does one submit sites to search engines/directories?

The most common way is to manually submit the URLs to the search engines and search engine optimization directories or to pay a service to do it for you. Obviously, SEO professionals will handle manually inputs of the various search engine optimization directories.

Some do it yourself search engine optimization submission locations include:

Google - https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url
Yahoo - https://help.yahoo.com/kb/SLN2217.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAEoT4AVZa1KCZ6knpsIlX9wJmhJu9s045DRLN_LfZdXD1icz9xfNsGMRbhOJVVYubiz4eQ8IUNT9q-382dlvENkE_2fGxDOxyVBS8WzJQCrfU33jUuCgCgRaoUXNJPVyQ84L6YcKZT0G5e0jaEDwqVBGT1xKvs7pbXIj_-ftS43I
Bing - https://www.bing.com/webmaster/help/submit-urls-to-bing-62f2860a
  • Note there is a limit on the search engine optimization volume of web pages from any particular website. As such, it is wise to break search engine optimization submissions of sub-pages over several days. Do not worry about any penalties unless your submissions are outrageously frequent. You can speed up the do it yourself search engine optimization process in a number of ways including:
- Submitting search engine optimization links to DMOZ
- Trading links with a quality search engine optimization site.
- Purchasing a directory listing in Yahoo
- Submit the site to free do it yourself search engine optimization directories.
- Always show a little patience and understanding with the time required for search engine optimization search engine indexing.

Factors to keep in mind while submitting a site to the search engines

- Select keywords and metatags carefully.
- Properly optimize the webpage with keywords
- Add the site to categories that are the most relevant
- Make sure there are no links broken and that the website works properly.

 How do you monitor the performance of your website in the search engines?

Always plug in the keyword for your site into the search engines and see what the results are. Keep optimizing your webpage until it ends up in the top ten. If you have a lot of keywords you can purchasing a rank report software program such as Web Position as it will provide valuable information and feedback. (see http://www.web-positiongold.com/)