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Websites, Search Engines and All That Jazz

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Jose de la Serna
September 27, 2006

Jose de la Serna
Retired software developer Information Empire
Jose de la Serna has written 1 articles for WebKnowHow.
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The business of putting up a website on the World Wide Web is not really for the faint-hearted. It is very easy to think that there is nothing to it. A naive newbie will always say, there are about 70 million websites in the Internet, surely I can make one just like the ugliest one there is.

This, of course comes from a starry-eyed, optimistic, abject beginner who has high hopes of becoming a webmaster. Sure, there are free webhosts that take out the hard work and pain in making a website by giving the user a paint-by-numbers type of website creator.

This is actually a good thing because making a website can be a darn pain in the neck especially if one is two of two things: ignorant and bull-headed. Being ignorant one goes ahead and gets ones hands dirty and very soon finds oneself in a lot of trouble. Being bull-headed, one refuses to be defeated and plows on with the work not caring for time or difficulty and pretty soon one has a working website for the world to see.

Having gone through the tutorials and after having read up on all materials related to website making, the webmaster-to-be starts thinking of webhosts and domain registration. I actually went through all the theoretical part of websites and I really thought, "how hard can it be?"

Well, I was in for a big surprise. I had read up on HTML and CSS and I figured the best way was to get ready-made templates from a number of places in the Net which is basically a good plan. The idea was that, knowing the terminology would make it easier to read something made by an expert than to try and build one from scratch. There are countless of absolutely gorgeous templates just waiting to be fleshed out with terrific content. So, on I went with my, "how hard can it be?" approach.

If one has seriouisly explored the Internet one would surely find out about Search Engines and how they make the world wide web go round. There is no rocket science there. Think of the Web as a huge library which is growing continuously every second. How would one go about accessing the information from a huge physical library with rows and racks of books and periodicals?

The simplest way is to look at the index cards which categorize and summarize every book in the shelves. Think of search engines as the index cards of a library. One can query a search engine for the contents of its databases based on a number of keywords that would bring one close to that which one is seeking. One could use Names or Authors or Subject Matter or Title in trying to locate a book. In a physical library with a buildiing and books this would be usual thing to do.

Search engines have taken this a step higher by providing a facility that further narrows down a search by indexing websites according to its contents using keywords to accumulate the various topics which a website may cover. A website may deal with a number of related topics and the search engine does its best to get a clear picture of what the website is all about so that it can offer that to the searcher on a silver platter of relevant pages. Whoah, what have we done? We have gone from being stymied by HTML and CSS to being knocked silly by the search engines and their appetite for content. This is a whole new ball game and I do not think I signed up for this type of aggravation.

Well, if one lives in the Net long enough one would surely have his tidy, neat, well-ordered pre-conceived notions knocked over by a deluge of unstoppable variables that threaten to derail his desire to have a website on the World Wide Web. What is one to do? Well, never fear for superman or someone who looks like him is near. Enter articles and writers for hire who give you finished articles that you can put on your website to make it worth reading as well as looking at. So ok, content can be addressed properly by writing it oneself or buying it from someone or gettinig it from some source which is willing to part with its stash of valuable articles.

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