Before you learn about how to optimize content for a search engine, we need to first understand what a search engine is and how it works. In this video. we're going to cover the three main processes of the Google search engine: crawling, indexing, and serving. The Google search engine uses these processes to locate the most relevant content to a user's search query. Just a quick disclaimer about the search content you'll learn about: There's no confidential information in this content. It's all available publicly, and you can learn more in Google's official search documentation. So what is a search engine? Think of a search engine as any software that locates information on a search query. As a marketer, you may work with several search engines. For example, in e-commerce you may work within the Amazon search engine or the Etsy search engine. Every search engine works slightly differently. However, many of the concepts and strategies we cover will apply to all. Let's discuss the processes Google uses to organize information online: crawling, indexing, and serving. The first step the Google search engine takes is crawling, which is the process of finding new and updated webpages. Google explores the Internet with automated programs called crawlers. These crawlers find new and updated webpages, and once the crawlers discover a new or updated webpage, Google then stores these page URLs in a big list to review later. A page URL is a web address such as www.example.com/blog. There are several ways that Google crawlers finds webpages. The main way is to follow links from pages already identified. Links are any web addresses on a webpage. Let's imagine that as a marketer, you create a new webpage for a website. The crawler will primarily discover that new page by a link within the website or from a separate website. Before crawling the page, it will check if it is allowed to do so by the website owner. Okay, once the new pages are crawled, Google then stores them in an index. Think of an online index as similar to an index in the back of a book. A book index is a list of content and its associated pages. Similarly, Google stores web content with its location: the URL for each webpage. What type of content will Google index? Well, almost anything on the page including text, photos, and video content. Remember, indexing is only possible if the website owner allows the webpage to be crawled. If the owner doesn't want it to be crawled, indexed, and appear in Google Search, then they can indicate it in the website's code. After the webpage content is indexed, the Google Search algorithm goes to work. In this context, an algorithm is an automated software that helps locate information to answer a user's query. The Google search algorithm sorts through billions of webpages to deliver the most relevant content for a given search. The purpose of the search algorithm is to deliver the best results for a search. For example, if you search for a product, the results are likely the best available to help you learn about or purchase that product. Now what does the algorithm consider when ranking a webpage for a search? Well, it considers many factors, including what's on a website and information on other websites. Some of the factors are more obvious than others, such as location and language. Google wants to really return results that meet the needs of users with a great user experience. We'll discuss five key factors, such as quality of content and usability of webpages, in an upcoming video. Overall, Google Search wants to return results that meet the needs of users with a great user experience. Now, if all of this sounds confusing, don't worry. By the end of this course, you will know a lot more about strategies to rank a website in the Google search engine. When doing digital marketing, you'll encounter algorithms frequently. Generally speaking, an algorithm is just a set of instructions for solving a problem or accomplishing a task. One simple example of an algorithm is a recipe. You want to make a meal, and the recipe provides instructions to make that meal. Websites and platforms use different algorithms to decide what to show users. A search algorithm for an e-commerce site may display the most likely products a shopper would purchase. Factors such as price and shipping time might influence the results. A social media algorithm may focus on what it thinks is most entertaining for the user. Factors such as popularity and content length may influence the results the social media algorithm provides its users. Okay, you've been introduced to how the search engine works and algorithms. As a marketer, it's likely you'll be thinking about how your website, products, or posts can be delivered to more and more people. It's part of the job!