Search Engine Basics

In this video, we’ll talk through some of the history behind search engines. We’ll explain how search engines have changed business, and tell you why they’re a great place to market your business on.

OK, so where did search engines come from? One of the earliest search engines was a program called Archie, which debuted in 1990 and allowed people to access and search file names—basically the names of the web pages. But, Archie couldn’t tell you what was on those pages.

Fast forward a few decades, and search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo!,, AOL, Baidu, and Yandex have come a long way. These search engines use incredibly sophisticated computer programs to sort through a massive number of web pages.

Most search engines basically work in the same way. When a person wants to find something, they type in a word or phrase, called a search query.

Then, the search engine compares that query to its catalogue of web pages, pulling out the best matches to show the searcher. These are displayed on a search results page.

Their goal is to create the most relevant list of results possible, to help searchers find what they are looking for. The results page includes links to websites, but you might also see local business listings, items for sale, advertisements, images, maps, videos and more. So how does this apply to you?

Well, imagine you own a coffee shop. If someone searches for coffee shop Cotswolds— that’s you!—this is the perfect opportunity to appear on the search results page.

In the same way, if you’re a technician who repairs air conditioning units, or a local takeaway ready to deliver dinner, you want to show up when people search for related words and phrases.

Why? Because the words entered into the search engine indicate the searcher is interested in your products and services, right now.

See why search is such a great place to be? It’s a way to target people who are already looking for you.

Don’t just take our word for it. Many marketers will tell you that search is essential to their online marketing strategy, and the numbers back this up.

Does this mean you should ignore other ways of advertising online? Of course not! Your plan can and should include lots of different ways to promote your business, like social media, email marketing, and display advertising.

But, if you’re a business interested in promoting products and services online, being on search is a pretty safe bet.