SEO: How Does the Google Algorithm Work?

Categories

Believe it or not, there is a method to the madness of calculating search engine rankings.  Unfortunately, no one knows it specifically because Google keeps its algorithms top secret – so secret that most of its employees don’t even know how it works.

Actually, the algorithm is so complex that no human mind could memorize or fully understand its internal operations.  Throughout the years, several changes have been made to the algorithm, giving SEO experts a better understanding of what factors Google takes into account when ranking websites.

How The Google Algorithm Works

To get a basic understanding of SEO, here is a brief explanation of how search engines work, and what each part of the Google algorithm process has to do with search engine optimization:

While the internet is almost too big to comprehend and grows more every day, imagine there is a linear roadway to follow from one end of the internet to the other.

Search engines send out programs, called “spiderbot” or “web crawlers,” whose job it is to scour this roadway on a regular basis to see what new information is available. They do this by way of links found on your website. using something called a sitemap — essentially, a road map to your website. Once found, the crawler will take small snippets of information from the page to understand the topic of the page.

After the search engine’s crawler has indexed all available information from your website, its next job is to provide the most relevant and important information available to each user’s query. That information is then used to rank the website in specific search queries on the search engine.

Search engine optimization involves helping your website’s pages have all the relevant information needed to rank for those specific queries.  The Google algorithm takes into account somewhere around 200 different factors when deciding which content is the most relevant and important for a particular search.

It’s not all about website content. The algorithm also takes into account the ease a user can navigate your website, how many other websites refer to the site (known as backlinks), how fast your website loads, and the security of your site.

Why Google is the Most Popular Search Engine

Quantifying relevance and importance, for a search engine, will never be perfect.  Attempting to replicate the human mind and what it believes to be the most important result for a particular search term is impossible.

In the past, relevant meant all you had to do was place a particular keyword in the title of the page and several places throughout the rest of the page in order to rank highly for a certain keyword.  People learned how to manipulate the search engines very quickly and get junk content to rank highly.

Now, however, the process is much more complicated than in the past.  No one knows the precise method for getting your content to rank first for a particular search term.  But, people have discovered guidelines that maximize your chances of doing so.

Google has become the most popular search engine because it helps people find what they are searching for far better than any other search engine.  It accounts for roughly 80% of all searches performed in the U.S. and about 90% of all searches worldwide.

However, Google is not perfect.  Chances are you can recall many times where you have searched on certain terms and wondered why you were getting the results you found!

But, it is the best at what it does by far, and you can expect to continue to be using Google for some time into the future!

If your website is not receiving enough traffic, maybe it’s time you contact a search engine marketing company like Zen Agency. We can help!

Want more digital strategy advice and insights?

Sign up for our newsletter.
!
!
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Joseph Riviello

Joseph L. Riviello is the CEO and Founder of Zen Agency. Joe's agency builds websites and web applications that attract, engage, and convert. Joe has over 30 years of experience in entrepreneurship and he is an expert digital marketing strategist who specializes in conversion-centric e-commerce experiences and cutting-edge solutions that maximize growth and profit. Check out Joe featured on: Business.com, Redbooth.com, Kabbage.com, MaterialDesignBlog.com

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

See more digital strategy posts

 
 

 

 
Someone navigating a website with ADA compliance on a tablet

ADA Compliance Services

Your website is the tool through which you connect with all of your customers. Accessibility is key for ensuring that customers have equal ability to access your website, regardless of their personal capabilities. ADA compliance doesn’t just help ensure that your website meets the right standards for legal compliance. It also helps you connect with…

computer screen with an ecommerce website

Why Quality Backlinks Matter

Google has changed its algorithm yet again and this time it’s aimed at product review websites. As stated in Google’s latest announcement, informative and more in-depth product reviews will receive a rankings bump. As Google explained to Search Engine Land: We know people appreciate product reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply…

Two people browsing a headless e-commerce site

Why You Should Consider Headless E-Commerce

Using a content management system, such as WooCommerce, for your website provides an all-in-one solution for business owners with little or no custom coding. Many website developers are familiar with the approach, but it’s restrictive, providing limited options for creating a user interface. Having multiple front ends for different purposes is difficult. But fortunately, there…

Marketing team pooling knowledge to build customer personas

What Is a Buyer Persona, and Why Is It Important to Your Marketing Strategy?

You are confident that your marketing plan is solid or at least heading in the right direction. But you’ve also heard an awful lot about incorporating buyer personas into the strategy. For those who may be asking “What is a buyer persona?” or wondering how to leverage them for your marketing efforts, keep reading. We’ll…

two monitors with web pages open

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Website’s Core Web Vitals

For years now, Google has been stressing the importance of the user experience to web developers, PPC specialists, and SEO experts. Each year, the search engine giant has been adding several UX components to its ranking algorithm, such as mobile-friendliness, safe browsing and HTTPS security, and the intrusive interstitial penalty (i.e. intrusive popups that can…

computer in front of a purple light

How Bad Web Design Can Affect Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

When you create a marketing strategy, you want to make sure that your marketing dollars are going to good use. While you put a lot of thought into developing a strategy that works to grow your business while staying within budget, there are some things that could be detracting from your marketing efforts without you…

creative team work together in brainstorm meeting to discuss branding and branding misconceptions

6 Branding Misconceptions That. Just. Won’t. Die

You’ve likely heard the term “branding” used in a few different ways, so maybe you have a picture of what branding looks like in your head. Is it that bright red Target logo? Or maybe it’s that catchy jingle you can’t get out of your head. Or maybe you don’t have a clear picture of…

Two friends shopping on their mobile devices

5 Mobile Marketing Mistakes to Avoid in 2021 (#3 Should Make You Sit Up)

It may already be a cliché, but someone has to say it: customers expect to engage your business on their mobile devices. We live at a time when smartphones are practically an extension of the individual. With the popularity of smartphones, mobile-initiated commerce has taken off. According to statistics published on OBERLO, mobile commerce sales…

apple ios 14 update

Apple iOS 14 Update: How Did It Affect Your Facebook Ads?

Privacy has become a hot topic in the past few years. From the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation to the California Consumer Privacy Act, laws and regulations aimed at protecting the privacy of consumers while on the internet have popped up in recent years, changing the way of how advertisers collect data. And it…