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Search Engines Articles

You Can’t Fool Google So Stop Trying!

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In a recent article over on Search Engine Land, author Greg Gifford said the following: The most important point we try to hammer home to potential clients is that you can’t fool the nerds at Google. Everything you do, both on and off your site, should be working toward the end goal of making y...

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Panda and Penguin: It’s Not so Black and White

Written by Danielle Bachini

I recently read a great article by Dave Davies over on Search Engine Watch that had me thinking. Titled "Which Update?” Is The Wrong Question, he says: “Most people don’t fully understand how the algorithms themselves can impact your rankings and thus looking to a single algorithm tends...

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Google Pushed Penguin 3.0 Live

Written by Shawna Wright

On October 19th Google officially confirmed they pushed Penguin 3.0 live. Even though it's called Penguin 3.0 it's actually the 6th iteration of the link spam fighting algorithm update. This is the first time Google has updated Penguin in almost exactly a year, so many site owners have their fingers...

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The Google Force Field

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When you live and breathe SEO like we do it's easy to forget that most business people, both big and small, don't play in the SEO sandbox at all. We often get asked questions that to us seem like, "well, duh," but to a small business owner or even a VP of Marketing that never delved into SEO before,...

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Another One Bites the Dust as Google Kills Authorship

Written by Shawna Wright

John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, announced last week that Google will be discontinuing its support for authorship in search results. Back in June, author photos were dropped from search results, supposedly to help reduce clutter and create a "better mobile experience and a more cons...

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Can’t Google Just Not Count Those Bad Links?

Written by Shawna Wright

In the last few years Brick Marketing has helped several websites diagnose and work through their manual or algorithmic penalties. If you have never had to deal with a Google penalty consider yourself lucky! It's an absolutely miserable experience even when you do know exactly what went wrong. It's ...

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Did Panda 4.0 Target Individual Pages?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Back in mid-May Google rolled out Panda 4.0 and it really shook up the search results. According to Search Engine Land, "Panda 4.0 must be a major update to the actual algorithm versus just a data refresh. Meaning, Google has made changes to how Panda identifies sites and has released a new version ...

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Google Takes on eBay

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In mid-May a lot of site owners noticed some big changes in the SERPs and traffic back to their sites. There was a lot of speculation as to why that was happening, and a few days later Matt Cutts officially announced that Panda 4.0 was rolled out. Less than an hour earlier, Search Engine Land confir...

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Google Rolls Out Panda 4.0

Written by Nick Stamoulis

According to Search Engine Land, Panda 4.0 must be a major update to the actual algorithm versus just a data refresh. Meaning, Google has made changes to how Panda identifies sites and has released a new version of the algorithm today. Is this the softer and gentler Panda algorithm? From talki...

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A Theory on Google’s Not Provided

Written by Nick Stamoulis

According to (Not Provided) Count, “not provided” data in Google Analytics will hit 100% on December 16th, 2013. We’ve been watching not provided crawl from the originally reported and promised 10% to 40, 50, 60 and 70+% over the last few months. Recently, Google announced that they would be s...

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The Penguin 2.1 Punch

Written by Shawna Wright

We started working with a new client back in May/June 2013, right after Penguin 2.0 was pushed live. This client came to us knowing their website has been negatively affected by Penguin 2.0. A little digging through their link portfolio and we found that an easy 75+% of their inbound links were from...

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Penguin 5.0, aka 2.1, Is Live

Written by Shawna Wright

On Friday, October 4th Matt Cutts tweeted that Penguin 2.1 launched, affecting about 1% of search queries. For the record, some SEOs are referring to Penguin 2.1 as Penguin 5.0 so know that they are talking about the same update. Why the naming confusion? As Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land...

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Are You Dealing with a Partial Manual Action?

Written by Shawna Wright

In early August, Google announced that they would be sending messages to site owners about manual actions being taken on the site. The messages will let site owner know if they have been affected by site-wide manual actions or just partial actions. In his example below, Matt Cutts shows how a partia...

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The New Hummingbird Search Algorithm from Google

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google announced their new search algorithm at the end of September, although they have reportedly been running the new algorithm for a month or so already. The new algorithm is called “hummingbird” and was so named because it was designed to be “precise and fast.” Danny Sullivan at Search E...

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Best Practice Tips for Google’s Link Disavow Tool

Written by Shawna Wright

If your site has been flagged manually or algorithmically for unnatural links part of the recovery process will involve Google’s Link Disavow Tool. This tool, which only became available in the last year, gives sites owners the ability to request (no guarantee) that Google disavow (i.e. not count)...

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Google Doesn’t Care About Your Website

Written by Nick Stamoulis

It’s a harsh reality that a lot of businesses and site owners struggle to come to grips with. After all, we pour our hearts (and budgets) into our websites; writing content, building a social presence, focusing on the user experience and tweaking, updating, and optimizing every last detail all to ...

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Google Makes Big SEO Changes to Webmaster Guidelines

Written by Nick Stamoulis

One of the biggest complaints many site owners have with Google is that when they need real direction Google’s go-to response is to refer to the Webmaster Guidelines, which can sometimes be rather vague. Every now and then Google makes updates to the Google Webmaster Guidelines in an attempt to be...

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What is A rel=”canonical” Tag?

Written by Shawna Wright

There a couple of reasons that a site might get flagged for duplicate content. Perhaps it was an honest mistake when the website was being built and two versions of a page (like mysite.com and mysite.com/homepage) were accidently created by the CMS. Perhaps you own an e-commerce website and you have...

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The Power of Real Author Authority

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When Google introduced PageRank it was basically the search giant’s attempt to “grade” pages on the Internet in the same manner that academic pages had been “graded” offline. Academic papers that are cited more frequently are generally considered more authoritative and prestigious; Google ...

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Choosing a Preferred Domain in Google Webmaster Tools

Written by Shawna Wright

The other day I noticed that one of our client’s sites had both the www version and non-www version of their domain working. This meant that when I typed in clientsite.com into the address bar the site did not automatically redirect to www.clientsite.com. I was worried that this might be impacting...

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Don’t Rely on Just Google for Website Visitors

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Ever heard the saying, “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”? Well it’s a phrase that is applicable to the online marketing world too. A positive Google search presence is certainly important, which is why we are able to survive as an SEO business. Even so, we would never suggest tha...

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Google Penguin 2.0 Update is Live

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In case you haven’t already heard, the Google Penguin 2.0 update went live on May 22nd, 2013. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, made the official announcement on his personal blog. Here’s what he said; About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user mi...

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Understanding Google Penalties: Penguin 2.0 Is Coming

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Word on the street is that Penguin 2.0 will be coming to a Google organic search result near you very shortly. If you aren’t familiar with the Google Penguin algorithm update, it was first launched in the spring of 2012 and targeted websites that were using low quality (spammy) link building tacti...

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Search Engine Penalty: Manual or Algorithmic?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you’ve noticed a significant dip in traffic to your website that spans a substantial amount of time (more than just a few days or weeks) and you haven’t scaled back any of your marketing efforts and can’t attribute it to external factors like the seasonality of your product or service your ...

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Is Your Website In the Google Sandbox?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

SEOs spend a lot of time thinking about the Google search algorithm. After all, Google is the King of Search as everyone “Googles” what they are looking for. Unfortunately the Google algorithm remains a secretive entity and we are only left to trial and error to even begin to understand it. Howe...

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Google Tells Us “How Search Works”

Written by Nick Stamoulis

As part of its continued effort to be more transparent, Google has recently published “How Search Works” on its Inside Search site which tells the “from algorithms to answers” story. The main “How Search Works” page tells the story in image form as you scroll down and it is separated in...

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The Secret to Withstanding the Next Google Update

Written by Shawna Wright

Panda, Penguin, ads above the fold, exact match domains, Venice---it sometimes seemed like a new Google update was rolling out every other week in 2012. If you want to see exactly how many Google updates actually went live SEOMoz has a great algorithm change timeline. Panda and Penguin were undoubte...

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What’s Up With Google Debt Collectors?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

This is a guest post by Amanda DiSilvestro of HigherVisibility Google might be on top of the world, but let’s not forget they still need your money. Google AdWords is a huge source of revenue for the search engine giant, so if you’re in debt they’re going to find you and collect just as any o...

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Ways to Claim More SERP Real Estate

Written by Nick Stamoulis

When people are looking for information today they typically turn to their favorite search engine, which is most likely Google. Not only do you want your business to appear within search results, but ideally you want your business to appear multiple times on a SERP (search engine results page). This...

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Google’s Venice Update—The Forgotten Local Update

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In the last few months I noticed that Brick Marketing was ranking in the top five search results for incredibly broad, national keywords like “SEO company.” We’ve been doing very well for localized keywords for a long time, but to see the company crack the SERPs for a national keyword (especia...

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Bing Webmaster Guidelines: Does Anyone Care?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Bing recently announced on its blog that it released the Bing Webmaster Guidelines. According to Bing: These Webmaster guidelines are broad, but provide guidance on major points such as: 1. Technical SEO 2. Social Media 3. Content 4. Links 5. Things to Avoid Changes should be infrequent as the...

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Create a Search Engine Spider Friendly Site

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The whole purpose of having a business website is to get visitors to the site that will ultimately become clients or customers. For most websites, the number one referral source of traffic is Google. For most people, Google is the first place they go when they are looking for just about anything. ...

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The Harsh Realities of a Search Engine Penalty

Written by Nick Stamoulis

In early October 2012, Google lived up to Matt Cutts’ promise of “jarring” updates. In about a week Google pushed out the exact match domain (EMD) update, a new Panda update, a page layout algorithm update AND the long awaited Penguin refresh. The EMD update happened first, and plenty of sites...

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Use Google Alerts to Improve Marketing Efforts

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google is a great resource for searching online and finding information that you need. We all know this. But Google’s product offerings expand beyond search. For anyone serious about marketing their website Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are essential because these tools provide yo...

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Google Releases a Tool to Disavow Links

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Links have always been and continue to be an extremely important part of SEO. Google ranks websites based on trust and the inbound links pointing to a website convey this trust. In the early days of Google and SEO nearly any link was considered to be a good link. That’s why so many low quality dir...

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Was Your Site Impacted by an Algorithm Update?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The search engines release updates to their algorithms all the time. Most of these updates go unnoticed because they affect such a small number of sites, and may not even make a huge difference when it comes to ranking or traffic. However, some algorithm updates are massive game changers like the Go...

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Google Cracks Down on Exact Match Domains

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Back in May I hypothesized that the Google Panda update would take on exact match domains in the coming months, and it turns out I was right! Matt Cutts of Google announced a few days ago that a “small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality "exact-match" domains in search results.” ...

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Google to Include Gmail Info in Search Results

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google recently announced that they would be taking their mission of personalizing search results one step further by including your email information from Gmail in search results. From the official Google blog: Sometimes the best answer to your question isn’t available on the public web—i...

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Was My Site Was Penalized by Google?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

First off, it’s important to mention that a website can be penalized by Google in two different ways—manual action or algorithmic update. A manual penalty means a human employee at Google physically reviewed your website and issued a penalty. An algorithmic penalty happens when your site gets ca...

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Use Google Tools to Monitor Your Brand Online

Written by Nick Stamoulis

A positive online brand reputation can take years to build. It’s important to do all that you can to preserve that positive reputation once it has been earned. When consumers are looking for a product or service or for information about a business, they turn to the Internet. Anybody with an Intern...

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Search Just Got Even More Social

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you’ve been paying attention to SEO trends at all in the last couple of years you should know that social media is no longer just a branding or customer service tool for business. A social media presence can improve SEO efforts. Both Google and Bing incorporate social signals into their search ...

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Google Panda Update vs. Google Penguin Updates

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The SEO community has been a buzz this past week with the latest update from Google, named Penguin. Penguin came down the pipeline last week, right on the tail of the latest Panda update. Since most of the big updates in the past year have been focused on Panda, many site owners are left wondering w...

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Google Went SEO Update Crazy

Written by Nick Stamoulis

I’ve been working in the Internet marketing and SEO industries for nearly 13 years, and March 2012 has got to be one of the most active months for Google updates that I’ve ever seen. We are used to hearing about a few updates (usually small ones) every month. A game changer (like the Google Pand...

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Is Personalized Search a Bad Thing?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

I came across this great article on SearchEngineLand the other day that discussed how users feel about personalized search. The debate has been going back and forth for some time about whether personalized search is a good or bad thing for the end user, who in the end is Google’s customer. Some sa...

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Don’t Let Google SEO Freak You Out!

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Obviously, Google is the king of search. Sure, Bing has made impressive strides and some people will never stray from Yahoo! but when it comes to search, Google is where it’s at and has by far the largest share of the search market. Google is so much more than a search engine and has become a part...

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7 Specific Google SEO Quality Guidelines

Written by Nick Stamoulis

As a white hat SEO practitioner, I take everything the search engines say about SEO very seriously. If Google or Bing declares a particular link building or onsite optimization tactic black hat, then my company tries to avoid it at all costs when executing our clients’ SEO campaigns; I never want ...

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What to Know About Google’s New Update

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Last week Google announced another algorithm update, called the "page layout algorithm update", which will target sites that have too many ads above the fold. Users find it frustrating when they click on a search result and then have a difficult time finding the actual content. Google wants to pro...

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3 Ways Google Changed SEO in 2011

Written by Nick Stamoulis

First, let’s set the record straight. Google changed SEO in many more than three ways in the past year. Google’s algorithm and policies are continually changing so it could even be safe to say that it changed SEO on a daily basis. Of course, some changes got a lot more attention than others, and...

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Encrypted Search and What It Means for SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Not too long ago Google made an announcement that they would be making search more secure. It will begin sending users that are signed in to their Google account to a secure version of the site when they perform a search. Since search is becoming more and more customized the purpose of this change i...

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Google+ Brand Pages: Should You Create One?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google+ has made numerous headlines since it was first launched in June 2011. It’s been in the news for being a potential “Facebook killer”, for its quick growth, for integration of the +1 button, and for its interesting strategy of holding off on allowing businesses and brands to use the medi...

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Protect Your Site from Search Engine Updates

Written by Nick Stamoulis

The search engines are constantly updating and tweaking their algorithms to provide their customers (searchers) with the best possible experience. Think about it. If Google search results were crappy, people wouldn’t use the service, meaning that Google wouldn’t be making a profit. Search engine...

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Google Places Issue: A Follow Up

Written by Nick Stamoulis

A few weeks ago we wrote a post about Google Places and an issue that we were having with getting an accurate listing live again after our office location moved. What happened was that after trying to update our Place page, it was removed completely until we could verify the listing via the code on ...

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What’s Up with Google Places?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

So here’s the situation. Brick Marketing recently moved office locations and we obviously wanted our Google Place page to reflect that. We went in, made the changes, and anxiously awaited that verification letter that was supposed to arrive within 2-3 weeks. What we didn’t know was that ALL of t...

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Do You Care If Google Has Your Information?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Simply put, Google stalks us. They use the information that we willingly give them to provide us with relevant search results, but also use that information for their own benefit by showing us ads that they hope that we will click on so that they can make some money. Of course, Google doesn’t only...

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Google Announces the Google+ Project

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Not to be confused with Google +1, Google+ is the search engine’s newest attempt at improving the social media networking experience. Google isn’t branding it as a social network, per say, but rather as a project. According to Google: “Among the most basic of human needs is the need to conne...

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The Return of the Google Panda Update

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Thought that Panda was a thing of the past? Nope. It turns out that round two is fast approaching or may have already been implemented, Google has yet to fill us in. “Panda 2.2” will supposedly target poor content websites that somehow survived round one. If you’re into SEO at all, you probab...

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Is Google’s +1 “Pretty Cool”?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

As you’ve probably heard, Google has officially released the +1 button for websites. It rolled out to a smaller audience in March within search results and ads and continues to be seen by a larger English-language search audience on Google.com. +1 shows up next to the title of a search result in G...

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Bing’s “Friend Effect” And What It Means for SEO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

As you’ve probably heard, Bing is starting to use its partnership with Facebook to its advantage. Last week, Bing started providing users with personalized search results based on the opinions of their Facebook friends when they sign into Facebook and use Bing simultaneously. This is Bing’s next...

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Another Social Search Engine: QYO

Another Social Search Engine: QYO

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google. Yahoo! Bing. The Big 3 of search. While they certainly have the most market share, they aren’t the only search engines out there. For those that are daring enough it’s sometimes interesting to check out something new every once in awhile. Last month we took a look at Duck Duck Go, a sear...

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Users Can Block Your Domain in Google Search Results

Written by Nick Stamoulis

A few weeks ago, Google rolled out an update for their Chrome Extension, where users could opt to block certain websites from the search results pages. The update was designed to have user feedback help Google eliminate content farms from their search results. Now Google has taken this feature and i...

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Another Search Engine on the Block

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Google and Bing have each had their fair share of time in the news lately. Google has been accused of having diminished search result quality and an increase in spam. Also, people are increasingly becoming concerned about their privacy while using Google. Bing has been accused of “stealing” from...

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The Duel: Google vs. Bing

Written by Nick Stamoulis

If you’ve been paying attention to what’s been going on in the search engine world the past few weeks, you’ve undoubtedly come across the feud going on between Google and Bing. It began when Google accused Bing of using Google’s search results and of being a “cheap imitation” of Google. ...

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What is Google

What is Google’s Realtime Search?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

As if social media needed any more reasons to be included in your SEO efforts, Google offers a Realtime search results page that pulls information from Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, MySpace, TwitArmy, Jaiku and more. This results page is constantly updating as new content is being created by online...

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The Goal of Search Engines

The Goal of Search Engines

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Regardless of which search engine you use, all search engines have the same goal: to provide users with the most relevant search results. If they cannot provide what you are looking for, and do it in a matter of milliseconds, chances are you will not use that particular search engine again. Users wa...

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