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What a search engine is in SEO

If you've heard the term SEO, you may know that it stands for "Search Engine Optimization". And it may make you wonder what in the heck is a search engine?

An engine is a generic term for a machine. That is, the engine in your car, or the machine that Eli Whitney invented for cotton, the cotton engine (which was just shortened to cotton gin). Searching, of course, just means looking for something. So a search engine is a machine (in the case of the web, it's virtual) that looks for something. For my clients, for all practical purposes, it's the search function of Google. As in, you know, "I'll Google that when I get to my computer."

But there are other search engines, such as Bing, Yahoo, etc. I can't think of the rest of them, because like most people, I don't use them.

"Optimization", by the way, just means making something work the best that it can. So if you are doing "Search Engine Optimization" for your business, you are doing all of the right things to attract the Google bots (the robots that run the engine) to give you a good position (in the first few pages) of a Google search.

There you go. I don't know why the techy people like to make things sounds so mysterious, but it isn't really.