An intranet is a non-public network of companies, government or educational institutions, which is based on Internet service provider technology. Users can access the content of the intranet from a browser if they have previously been authenticated with their access data.

How it works[edit]

Servers, clients, and devices are needed for an intranet through which the participants can communicate with one another on the network. The transmission protocol is TCP or HTTP. There is no spatial boundary for an intranet, because its users can access it through a VPN tunnel if they are spatially separated from each other. An intranet is usually secured with a login that has to be executed by each participant before gaining access with a password and ID.

The WWW can often be accessed through an intranet. However, access can be checked and limited by system administrators. Moreover, incoming data streams are blocked by firewalls.

In the sense of Web 2.0, intranets may also contain social media elements. Large intranets might include their own forums, blogs, or community sites.

Areas of applications[edit]

Companies and government agencies use intranets for various purposes. This may, for example, be the following:

  • Internal communication
  • Personalized distribution of information
  • Targeted information transmission
  • Access to internal databases
  • Search in own archives


The establishment of an intranet has many advantages, which are outlined here briefly:

  • Simple application using browser technology
  • Fast information distribution within government agencies, companies or workgroups
  • Possible increase in the workflow
  • Strengthening of the corporate identity
  • Cooperation over long distances made possible
  • Possible control of the surfing behavior of employees
  • Simplified data management
  • Simplified implementation of measures in the field of data protection
  • Simpler internal evaluations

Relevance to SEO[edit]

The search capabilities within intranets are discussed repeatedly. Because users expect similarly accurate results such as they would get from a Google search, but they are often disappointed. For this reason, there are frequent discussions about whether SEO measures can also assist to improve the search within intranets. The opinions on this issue are divided. While proponents argue that content such as text or images pose almost identical optimization opportunities as search engine optimization for the Internet, critics on the other hand argue the fact that the wide range of infrastructural characteristics of intranets would not allow any general conclusions about optimization.