What is a search engine algorithm? A search engine algorithm is a method used to determine the significance of a website. Each search engine such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing have their own set of rules that will determine if a website is real or spam. It can also decide is a website has the information that users are looking for. Each search engine has its own formula, number of formulas actually. Different areas have their own formula and together they create a complete formula or algorithm. Some of the areas include, but are not limited to, URLs, web page speed, content, images, external links, and internal links.
Despite the difference in algorithms for each of the search engines, which is not common knowledge to the public, they do have certain things in common. These include off-page factors, relevancy, and individual factors. Off-page factors refers to data such as linking and click-through rates. For example, if a web page has a high click-through rate, it will be determined to be a useful web page for users to know about. Data like this can help to determine a web page’s ranking.
Relevancy refers to keywords and how they are used. They will be scanned by the algorithm, which will determine how relevant the web page is. Relevancy is considered one of the top factors in deciding how a web page will rank. This means keywords and key phrases should be a priority. Location of these key words also matters. Keyword stuffing is frowned upon, but using them frequently can be beneficial.
Individual factors is the difference in each search engine’s algorithms. If you’ve ever conducted the same search in two or more search engines, you’ve probably noticed that you are given different results. These differences are due to the individual factors of each search engine.
What are the benefits of a search engine algorithm? Algorithms are designed to make the users experience more efficient, both in terms of their time and the results. Without algorithms, users would have to shuffle through endless pages of results to find what they are looking for. The most relevant pages could end up on page 16 instead of page 1 where they belong.
How can a website creator take advantage of the search engine algorithms? Implenting search engine optimization is probably the most important thing a website creator can do for their website. As mentioned, keywords and key phrases play a role in the algorithms. You want your keywords to match what users are typing into search engines, while avoiding overuse. Getting specific with your keywords and key phrases will help users who know exactly what they are looking for to find you. Being vague may result in a higher click-through rate, but fewer conversions. Search engine algorithms may also take into consideration how mobile-friendly a website it. Since so many people these days use their mobile devices to search, learn, and shop, it’s important that your site is mobile-friendly.
While we can’t pin down exactly what goes into a search engine algorithm, making sure your website is running its best and offering the best experience to users can only help in deciding where you rank.