What is the infamous Google Algorithm and why should you care?
You may have heard the term “Google Algorithm” thrown around by your SEO specialist. But really, what the heck are they actually talking about? Is it a real thing or just a tech-world myth?
The truth is that there is often little we really know about the Google Algorithm. But it is real and it is crucial to the optimization of your web page, and thus your website ranking.
Google Algorithm 101
By definition an algorithm is a set of mathematical rules or instructions for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.
The Google Algorithm fits this description. The geniuses at Google have devised a method by which web pages are ranked using a specific set of indexing factors. This is not your basic algebra problem, nor do the rules stay the same.
Not only do the rules change relatively frequently, Google rarely gives a “heads up” to anyone about the changes. This makes it imperative for SEO professionals to stay on top of their game and closely monitor for changes in the ranking system.
Why is the Algorithm Necessary?
As a consumer, you want real answers to your search engine questions. When you “Google it,” there is an expectation that Google will understand what you are asking.
In order to provide answers rather than just a list of websites, there has to be a method to sorting through the 100’s of billions of webpages in order to provide relevant content at lightning speed.
Have you noticed that your search engine seems smarter than it use to be? You may find that compared to five years ago, you can be much less specific the words you choose when conducting an Internet search. That is because Google has also constructed language models to account for interpretation of words, misspellings, synonyms and categories of information.
The algorithm is the method by which Google is able to correspond your search with the best matching content to find what you are looking for.
How are SEO and the Google Algorithm Related?
Some factors may include:
- Keyword appearance page titles and headers
- Meta descriptions
- Amount of naturally occurring organic links
- Mobile compatibility
- …And an ever-changing plethora of other things
Adjusting these individual areas on each page and piece of content on your website can be the difference between page 27 and page 2 depending on what the current algorithm deems important. That difference in page ranking could will mean a huge increase in your market outreach, sales, and bottom line for your business.
Spiders and Crawlers? Ewww!
Pages on a website are read by automatic programs called “spiders” or “crawlers,” which travel the web, moving from link to link in order to build an index page.
As unpredictable as the algorithm, there is no consistency to when or how often a page is crawled. That is one of the reasons it is important to have SEO on point at all times.
Once a web page has been crawled it is assigned a numerical value for each trait the algorithm is seeking on that individual page. From there, the page with the most desirable traits heads to the top of the rankings.
The Google Algorithm can’t be bought or bribed
There is no amount of money that will ensure you the number one seed for your pagerank goals. This keeps the playing field even for all websites.
To reach the top spot, funds are best allocated to an SEO specialist who is devoted to keeping up with the complicated and ever-changing Google Algorithm. Again, we aren’t talking about basic algebra here.