As indie authors, we're always trying to get our book to rank at number one or to appear on a better page in the search results. Getting this right demands some knowledge of Search.
Let’s take Google – it is the biggest and most popular search engine. Most of the others work in a similar way.
Understand Web Crawling and Indexing
Google finds web pages (by “crawling”) and stores them to make them searchable (in what can be considered a big virtual book or file, called the “index”). Here you will hear words like Google’s “spiders” or “bots” (robots) that go out and index the pages).
Understand Ranking of Pages
This part of the process deals with how Google returns matches in response to a search, how it decides which pages from the index should be ranked tops.
Nobody really knows in full detail what Google’s algorithm is, and it changes all the time.
If you are interested in the SEO of ranking, take a look at this great Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors. It will give you a good idea what is important to search engines.
Understand How Search Works
Google has released an Interactive Infographic: “How Search Works” that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the process from start to finish.
“Here you can follow the entire life of a search query, from the web, to crawling and indexing, to algorithmic ranking and serving, to fighting web spam,” Google Product Manager Jake Hubert said, in a blog post announcing the page.
Understand Google Policies
Google as also assembled a new guide to all its many policies that deal with search.
Spending some time understanding Search and how to apply your keywords, pays off with better book sales and, more importantly, reaching the readers who are searching for the very information your book provides.