What is Search Engine Optimisation? Everything you need to know about Search Engines and Search Engine Optimisations, but were too afraid to ask


SEO for Recruiters


In this article, we are going to help you understand the basics of Search Engines and how Search Engine Optimisation works. This guide is aimed at recruiters and talent acquisition professionals who are looking to gain clarity and understanding in this area so they can increase traffic and ultimately gain extra applicants for their vacancies.

We are going to cover the following topics:

  • What is a Search Engine?

  • Examples of Search Engines.

  • What is a Search Query?

  • How do Search Engines Works?

  • What is crawling?

  • What is Indexing?

  • What is Search Engine Optimisation?

  • Actionable questions?

What is a Search Engine

Search Engines are web pages that internet users visit so they can find relevant information to help them. They help people find web pages as they need them. The best way to think about a Search Engine is it is a telephone book of every website, but you only need to type in a few words to get the result you want.

Search engines are always looking to bring the most relevant results to a search query. The reason that a search engine wants to bring the most relevant results to its users is simple. If a user finds the information they are looking for, they will come back and use that search engine again and again. This repeated use, allows search engines to advertise to these customers.

All search engines crawl, index, and rank the internet to ensure that they are able to deliver the best and most useful websites to their users.

Crawling - Spiders are bots (robots) that discover websites, webpages, and content and search the internet for new or updated content. They visit sites and aim to understand what the page is about so that it can be “indexed”.

Index - The index is the master list of the internet. Not all pages will appear on the index. However, a search engine like Google will index a majority of the internet.

Ranking - the score a website gets relative to a particular search on the internet. The ranking is always looking to align the most relevant website with each search. It takes time to climb up the rankings with a search engine, and generally, there is no way to game this system.

Examples of Search Engines

There is a wide range of Search Engines from Google to Bing. We have listed a number of search engines below. However, search engines big and small are present all over the internet. For instance, Amazon and eBay are both bigger search engines than Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and Yandex. However, they are aimed at searching just one website (their own).

Google - google.com - The Big Daddy of the Internet. Google is “the search engine”.

Bing - bing.com - Bigger than most people realise, Bing is Microsoft's alternative to Google.

Yahoo - yahoo.com -Once the darling of the internet, it has an amazing ability nowadays to buy businesses that are highly profitable and turn them into a failure. Still relevant for search traffic but not what it once was.

Ask Jeeves - askjeeves.com -The sophisticated search engine. Given its name, it is not British.

Yandex - Yandex.com -s the “google” for the Russian-speaking world. 

What is a Search Query

A Search Query is anything that a user of a search engine types into the search engine. For instance, you might have found this article after searching "what is SEO" or "how can recruiters use SEO".

A search engine is always looking to bring up the most relevant website and results for the end user. With this in mind, Search Engines are consistently scoring the internet for new or more relevant websites. The search query is the reason why they are doing this.

Search Engines are one of the most useful and important parts of the internet after the internet browser. Indeed, without Search Engines, the internet would probably still be an academic and large enterprise. **UP2HEAR**

How do Search Engines Work?

Search Engines are tasked with finding the most relevant information for their end-user - me, you and the other 4 billion people connected to the internet. With this end goal in mind, all Search Engines are constantly crawling, indexing and ranking the internet.

What is Crawling?

Crawling is an automated action undertaken by Bots (Sometimes called Spiders) that scurry all over the internet looking to find new webpages to add to the Search Engines' database of webpages and to reassess old pages in the database.

This process is automated and provides the raw data that allows a search engine to index and contributes towards ranking.

What is Indexing?

Indexing is the master page of web pages that the Search Engine is aware of. This index is the place where when a website is found it will have its location stores and later ranked for future use.

What is Ranking?

This is the final stage of the process is ranking. How a page rank is kept secret by Search Engines for obvious reasons. However, all Search Engines do promote best practices for all websites to follow, which is the basis for most Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) consultants' work.

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the process of making changes to the front and back end of a website so that is more attractive to a search engine regarding the specific range of search or keywords within a search query.

Much of the SEO work is run of the mill, however, some of the work is very technical. In a later article, we cover a range of SEO tasks that you can undertake to improve the rank of the websites and webpages over the coming months.

Generally, there is no magic bullet with SEO. It is a process that does take time and patience to see results. Of course, all the best things in life are like that.

However, you can outsource this kind of work to SEO freelancers and agencies depending on your budget.

Actionable Questions

  • Have you thought about whether your website is friendly towards Search Engines?

  • Do you need to learn more about SEO or are you going to hire an expert?

  • Search Query your website across a number of Engines and see what happens. How do you feel about these results? What page do you appear on?

  • Search Query your expertise and location and see what happens. How do you feel about these results? What page do you appear on?

  • Do you track if clients and candidates find your website via Search Engines? If not, how would you record this information?


Did you find this article interfering? If so please do share.


  • Search Engines help people find information across the internet.

  • When you look for information via a search engine this is called a Search Query.

  • All Search Engines, Crawl, Index and Rank webpages across the internet.

  • Improving the visibility and performance of the website is called Search Engine Optimisation.

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