How Does Google’s Search Algorithm
The neverending changes to Google’s Search Algorithm are such a lot of work! However, If you wish your site to appear on Google search, then it is necessary. Here is a compilation of articles on changes to that algorithm that might affect your Google search position.
 Google’s Social Life
Google averages millions of search queries a minute, and the results you’ll receive for your search can change just as quickly. This is because the popular search engine enjoys a rapid social life, and no human can catch up. You could almost compare the social media parallel to the famous top eight friends feature from when MySpace was popular. The hundreds of millions of results you may see for a single query shift rapidly, and like with your best friends, it’s the most robust website that can maintain their ranking.
We know that Google isn’t a social media site in the same way that Facebook is, but it’s similar because you see accurate content from real people. On social media sites, however, you may at times find your feed clogged up with posts that aren’t incredibly relevant. Google’s primary goal is to show users exactly what they want to see on the front page. The steps they take to fulfill this need keep millions using Google for all their online needs. If you read our post on how a search engine works, you’ll understand how organic rankings are developed.
Not only does Google have to sort through the millions of searches made every minute, but also the high volume of web pages created simultaneously. The game Google has to play is matching the user query with the correct web pages. Once upon a time, the algorithms used by search engines might have come with several noticeable gaps. To get ahead, Google has long been collecting data and learning about users to create a system to improve the user’s experience—and this is something that changes daily.
Over the years, Google has made a series of changes that better allow it to interpret users’ needs. Just a few of the items Google has created the ability to implement include:
- Correcting misspellings in your query
- Using synonyms to generate more results
- Determining whether your question is specific or broad
- Presenting options for similar popular searches
To improve the user’s online experience, Google is consistently collecting data to add to their series of algorithms already in place. The majority of these updates are so small that no one will even notice they’ve been made. There are frequently several launched in a single day. However, a handful of more significant updates have substantially impacted several sites that may not have been following the search engine’s best practices.
If you explore some of Google’s most extensive updates—a few of which we’ll touch on below—you’ll learn how each one is made to benefit the user. It’s almost impossible to know what change Google will make next, so some business owners may worry that one day they’ll see their analytics rapidly decrease. Fortunately, businesses practicing white hat SEO are less likely to experience adverse effects. There’s a chance their rankings may even improve with future updates.
When a significant update is announced, you might immediately wonder whether you’ll be affected. So before we discuss some of Google’s most notable past updates, we’ll first look at how you can determine if and how you’ve been affected.
Google Analytics is one of the most vital tools a business owner focusing on SEO can take advantage of. This is where you collect essential information regarding how your site is performing. Some of the analytics tracked include the following:
- How users found your site (email, social media, organic ratings, etc.)
- How many users visited your website
- How long do users spend on each page
- Where your users are searching from
- Your keyword rankings
Regardless of your situation, you’ll want to check your analytics regularly. After a major update, however, you may want to check them daily for several weeks to track any changes accurately. If you begin to notice that the algorithm has negatively affected your rankings, it’s time to determine what steps you can take to improve them. We want to briefly review a few of Google’s most significant past algorithm updates so you can familiarize yourself with the steps they’ve made to improve the user’s experience. You’ll find that many of these are targeted toward penalizing black hat practices.
What Is a Google Algorithm?
Google algorithms follow the exact basic definition and rule of an algorithm that we described. Think about the last time you searched for something on Google. Whether you typed “cute cat videos” or “shoe stores in Pennsylvania,” the search engine returned millions of results for you to choose from.
But how did it decide which results to show you, and in what order? An algorithm.
Google has a very complex algorithm for serving search results, and it changes relatively frequently. And although the company does not make the exact algorithm public, here are a few elements that we know for a fact have an impact on a page’s ability to appear in the results for specific keywords:
- The keyword’s appearance in the page’s title, header tags, and meta description
- The amount of naturally occurring, organic links to the page
- The way the website performs on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets
Of course, these are just some of the characteristics the Google algorithm explores when determining how to deliver and rank pages. There are likely dozens, if not hundreds, of others.
As the Google algorithm “reads” a webpage, it prescribes a pre-ordained numerical value to each trait it’s seeking on the page. That numerical value is then added to the result. Thus, the web page with the most desirable characteristics will rise to the top of the page rankings because the algorithm assigns it more importance.
These calculations by the Google platform are conducted incredibly quickly, and the rankings may fluctuate as web developers manipulate the attributes that contribute to page rankings across a website or on a single page.
Therefore, rankings, as assigned by the Google algorithms, are fluid. For example, a page that ranks third for a keyword may rise to first or fall to tenth as the content on both it and the other pages in the results change. Usually, the top spots are held by businesses that do search engine optimization, or SEO, on their sites.
As mentioned previously, the Google algorithm partially uses keywords to determine page rankings. The best way to rank for specific keywords is by doing SEO. SEO essentially is a way to tell Google that a website or web page is about a particular topic.
Years ago, it was commonplace for many sites to “keyword stuff” their content. In essence, they assumed that the Google algorithm would think that the more keywords are written, the more influential the page should be.
Once Google realized this, they altered their algorithm to penalize sites that stuff their pages with keywords and many other “black hat” SEO practices. Because of this, you should avoid any tactic that is done to outsmart search engines. Although they may not notice right away, Google will eventually pick up on what you are trying to do, and your rankings will suffer.
How The Evolution Of Algorithms Is Changing The Game For Business Success
When computers advanced to a level of performance where they could compute more complex algorithms, two exciting fields emerged at the frontier of this new world: Machine Learning and Deep Learning. Both of these have become the doorway into a brand new era of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is now changing the game for business success.
The new game of survival is simple. Organizations that adapt to the evolution will come out on top. Those who don’t will quickly find themselves lagging behind the competition. Let’s look into what Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and AI are about, plus how ExOs adapt and apply the algorithms in these fields to stay ahead of the competition.
Machine Learning is the ability to accurately perform new, unseen tasks built on known properties learned from training or historical data and based on prediction. Or in simpler terms, machine learning is when algorithms parse data, learn from that data, and then apply their education to make informed decisions.
You can think of it as a computer that can teach itself to continually improve on performing an automated task based on analyzing the results of past attempts. This is because computers can process vast amounts of information at high speed, thus learning very fast.
To illustrate a simple example of machine learning in action, let’s go back to the birth of machine learning. In 1956, when Arthur Lee Samuel didn’t want to write a highly detailed, lengthy computer program that could beat him in a game of checkers, he created an algorithm instead.
This algorithm allowed the computer to play against itself over and over again. The algorithm could then learn from the historical data and essentially teach itself to perform against an opponent. The algorithm’s effectiveness was proven when, in 1962, the computer beat the Connecticut state champion in a game of checkers.
Fast-forward to today, and Machine Learning can be applied to help organizations learn how to serve their customers effectively. A great example of this is Netflix who used algorithms to improve its movie recommendations.
On the other hand, Deep Learning is a new and exciting subset of Machine Learning based on neural net technology. A complex set of algorithms allows a machine to discover new patterns without being exposed to any historical or training data.
Leading startups in this space are DeepMind, bought by Google in early 2014 for $500 million, back when DeepMind had just 13 employees. Another leading startup in this space is Vicarious, funded with investment from Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg.
Twitter, Baidu, Microsoft, and Facebook also heavily invest in this area. Deep Learning algorithms rely on discovery and self-indexing and operate in much the same way a baby learns first sounds, then words, sentences and even languages.
It is not a minor thing when Google does any updates to their search engine. Try your best to keep up with them so that your ranking position does not fall. If you need help, reach out to RapidPage.ca today.
Articles compiled by RapidPage.ca
Article Reference Links:
- https://www.logicalposition.com/blog/how-can-google-algorithm-updates-affect-your-business ↑
- https://www.webfx.com/internet-marketing/what-is-a-google-algorithm.html ↑
- https://blog.growthinstitute.com/exo/algorithms ↑