A Beginners Guide to Google Algorithms
Search engine algorithms are extremely complex. In fact, a single search algorithm is actually comprised of numerous other algorithms, all of which have their own unique part to play.
I have been in digital marketing for a long time, I have worked with many business owners that get angry at search engines like Google especially when rankings drop, however, let’s consider the facts, Google are a business and they want to give their users (people who search on Google) the best experience possible, every decision they make is for the benefit of the user. Now Google’s AI isn’t always fair but if you play by the rules you will be able to get good organic traffic from Google that will help your business thrive.
The Importance of Understanding Search Engine Algorithms
You may have found yourself questioning how to use structured data to improve your search engine results page (SERP) rankings or how to write copy that will allow you to improve your voice search rankings.
But it is not enough to know which tactics can help you to achieve your goals. You also need to have at least a basic understanding of how those tactics work.
What Exactly is an Algorithm?
Let’s start by looking at some core components that most websites have in common. As well as content and images, websites have URLs, internal and external links, and unique page loading times.
Each one of those components can be further segmented using a range of different formulas, which are used to ensure that the right content is served to the right searchers at the right times.
So, there are many algorithms involved in the process of serving content to searchers. However, there is still also a single algorithm which determines how the other formulas should be weighted to organise the results that are ultimately presented to a searcher.
What Do Google Algorithms Do?
Let’s look at a few of the Google algorithms playing a significant role in serving content to searchers on a daily basis.
– The Penguin algorithm assesses the quality of links and works to identify spam.
– The Panda algorithm assesses the characteristics of content, rewarding the best content with improved visibility and penalising poor quality content.
– Data collecting algorithms collate an array of information, including page speed and site structure which is used to produce a results page which meets a searcher’s expectations
Key Google Algorithm Takeaways to Remember
I’ve condensed quite a lot of information into a short article here, so let’s end with a couple of takeaways that you can refer to whenever you need.
1. Context is Key
Understanding the functionality of Google algorithms will give you additional contextual information that will allow you to see how and why an upcoming algorithm update may impact your search visibility.
2. Don’t Overlook User Intent
There is no single algorithm. Rather, there is a collection of algorithms which all have their own role to play in delivering results to each searcher.
Understanding the intent behind every search query and target keyword will allow you to shape your content to deliver the answers your audience are actually looking for. This information will also help you to implement optimisation strategies to tell search algorithms that your content is relevant and will satisfy searcher intent.