Search Engines and the tops results have an impact on our day to day lives. Just for fun; how many of you would rely on the second, third or fourth page of search results? I strongly believe a few people. It took me years to understand how search engines work. And like most people, I would focus on the result on the first page. In today's post, we are going to discuss how search results can have an impact on us.

A short story about my background

Since my childhood, I always believe in the power of search engines. I remember the first time I went to a cyber café (Living to a country with less access to the internet) and discover that website that would try to answer everything you search. For me, it was amazing and unbelievable. I remember playing a rule of search engines evangelist, telling anyone willing to listen to me that "You can find the answer to everything you want on the net." How about that? Do I still believe you can get an answer to everything? What is that everything? Is it the absolute truth or just information twisted with specific parameters? In this blog, I will try to expose my thought on the topic. I will further explain the impact of search results on our life.

Top results are not necessarily the best

The fact that a piece of information is at the top does not necessarily mean that it is the best. In fact, many people have learnt the art of search engines and understood how to reach more audiences. Even though all the criteria to reach the top of the page are known, there are still some basic rules that you can follow to achieve your goal. Some of these rules are:
  • The quality of your website. This criterion is evaluated by how easy your website is to navigate; if people stay longer on your website, or if it is responsive or adapted to any screen size.
  • Search Engine Optimization. If you understood how SEO works, you can apply that to have more visibility online. In order words, if you are talking about a particular topic, you can find the keywords that you want to use. And then, make sure to properly optimize your pages.
  • Paid Advertisement. In this case, you can pay search engines to show your content first
  • Influenced content. You may pay people that have more authority of visibility on the internet to publish your content.
There are many other ways to reach the top of search results. And most of them do not always reflect the integrity of the information

Treat any information with caution especially if it affects your values

If you have been long enough on the internet, you will agree with me that, we face a lot of fake news and manipulation.

What is a search engine, and how does it work?

In literal terms, a search engine is a program or an application that will give you the answer provided that you input a question. For instance, the idea behind search engines is to display pieces of information based on your initial input. Some of the most popular search engines are Google, Bing and Duckduckgo.  In general, they all collect data from anywhere in the world, and whenever you do research, they will try to display results based on your keywords and what they have at their disposal.

Definition of search engines

According to https://www.computerhope.com, A search engine is a software program or script available through the Internet that searches documents and files for keywords and returns the results of any files containing those keywords. And according to the techopedia, "Search engine is a service that allows Internet users to search for content via the World Wide Web (WWW). A user enters keywords or key phrases into a search engine and receives a list of Web content results in the form of websites, images, videos or other online data. The list of content returned via a search engine to a user is known as a search engine results page (SERP).". Hence from those definitions, we can understand that it is a software or service that displays or not a list of results whenever we enter a keyword.

How does it work?

Search engines are populated with billions of information from different sources. Whenever you publish something online, robots of search engines will crawl your web page in search of relevant information. Later on, when a user does a search, data from crawled websites are displayed according to a specific algorithm. Therefore, whatever rules are defined by the engine owner governs what you can see or believe. Generally, they are two main factors that can influence search results:

  → Paid Advertisement

If you haven't realized, whenever you type a keyword on Google, you will see at the top of the page some results that might not be related to your keyword with a small icon "Ads." Those are paid ads. Anyone can pay to be at the top of search results.

   → Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization(SEO) consists of improving the content of a web page, such as to reach the standard of Search Engines algorithms in other to get traffic naturally. For example, responsive, secured, well-structured or straight to the points websites would rank better compare to others. Furthermore, the more visitors you have, the more it increases ...

Influencers content

Some information on the internet can be influenced by the number of people that like it. Furthermore, if a popular figure can comment or talk about a piece of information, it stands a chance to pop up at the top of search results.Over the years, I personally noticed how some popular people could widely influence public opinion or alter the true information.

Viral information

Viral users break the search engines algorithm and

How can search results impact your life?

You can practically find an answer to any question on search engines. In fact, in this modern age, search engines have become the source of all our solutions. For instance, people tend to refer to them to get answers to all their troubles and concerns, even when there is no need. Also, the more a search result is recurrent or shows at the top, the more a surfer will want to apply that in his/her way of living or behaving. As a result, what we used to call "Common sense," values and context seem to disappear. I am among those that believe in the power of search engines. However, it is crucial to handle each information carefully. The purpose of this article is to show that tops results are not always the best. And also, I want to point out the dangers of substituting Search results in reality.
 

Search Top Results and its influence on our opinions

For the definitions and explanation above, you will then agree with me that search results can be misleading. Someone who understands the secret behind Search Engine algorithms will quickly be at the top of searches. Let assume now that a malicious person wants to propagate a piece of fake news online? How would you know if it is true or not when you rely on the first results? I believe that search engines have revolutionized the IT industry. I rely on them daily for all my activities. But as it is commonly said: People are dying for lack of knowledge, and this is my 20 cents advice. Keep on following search results, but do it wisely.