The Search Journey or How to Go from a Query to an Answer
If you already read about SEO, you might have heard about the “search journey”. It is defined as all the sequence of events happening between the instant you have a question and you get the answer.
The first time I saw this term I could not stop smiling. I thought it was too much – surely the fruit of some poetic IT guy!
Today, I have to acknowledge this guy for his modesty. He was able to hide with a simple word how tricky the task was for search engines. The “journey” I first took with a pinch of romance is on a long, rocky and sinuated road…
Choose any topic you want, enter 2 keywords in the query box and press enter. For any subject you can think of, one result will be displayed. You may think “Duh – search engines are engines that search…”.
Did you notice that the first page is quite relevant to what you meant? Did you ever realize that the top 10 was picked from a pool of 240 millions websites, i.e. at least 2,400 millions webpages, in half a second! And so what…?
The URLs order on the search engine result page is likely to be the same today and tomorrow but will be different with you switch the order of your two keywords. This is quite neat. There is only one way to classify websites with repeatability: mathematics.
Somehow, search engines can extract the content of every page of the Internet in a simple manner. Search engines incorporate this information into an algorithm. They can prioritize some over others and generate the list with quite an impressive relevance.
What is the link with SEO? Search engines do not read websites. Search engines skim read webpages. Each search engine keeps its method secret. Google claims to measure 200 factors… Each one has its own set of rules. The importance of each factor compared to others is unknown. However, independently of the search engine, the main rules are to know:
- How consistent one single page is,
- How relevant each page is to the set of keywords declared,
- How well organized the content is,
- How well structured the website is,
- And how well integrated the website is within the Internet