Algorithms and SEO

By: Jane Nriapia

When you type a query into a search engine you expect to get an answer to your question, and it is by using algorithms that the search engines are able to navigate their way through the online jungle, to return the best answers that relate to you.

Google have revealed that there are 30 trillion individual web pages on the internet, and that number is still growing. It stands to reason then that there needs to be a way of filtering this information so that when you search, the correct results can be delivered to you.

According to Google, there are over 200 different unique signals or clues that are used in returning the answer to your search.

These include:

Site and page quality including page rank

Freshness of content

User context including history and location

The vast majority of the rest of these 197 elements are a secret, and this is why SEO’s work hard to test different techniques that have a positive effect on website rankings.

If it wasn’t enough that these unique signals and clues are kept secret, they are also being regularly changed by Google. This means SEO experts have to constantly evolve and update their knowledge base so that when Google performs an algorithm update they can keep web page rankings high.

What have we learnt from the latest Google updates?

Google are working to become a knowledge based engine as opposed to an information engine and modeling their search engine to compliment the human brain.

Google’s Knowledge graph is all about understanding relationships between the different information online and linking it together to give users even more intelligent information, than they may have initially wanted when they initially started to search.

From all the myriad of information that Google holds on its users they are able to find out what is of interest to people in the main and then use that information to offer results based on this. One of the ways they do this is by monitoring which pages have proven useful to other searchers when they have done the same search you are doing and presenting those same pages to you.

As the algorithms become more intelligent and try to replicate the way the human brain thinks, your website should start to do the same.

Google is trying to become more human, and since social sharing is a very human past time, social sharing will become a big factor in terms of how Google ranks pages. The more your content is shared and liked will indicate to Google how relevant your website is.

In the past some SEO’s have used short cuts and techniques outside of Googles guidelines to improve page ranking. As search engines evolve and become more human in their outlook, they are able to determine where these techniques have been used and websites are penalized by dropping down the SERP as a result.

Remember, don’t take shortcuts in SEO, hang in there, play the long game and come out on top!

If you start to SEO your website today you will not see overnight results. Organically growing a website is like organically growing a business. It takes a lot of time, effort and dedication. If you follow the guidelines and do it properly eventually you will not only have a business that is worth a fortune, but also a domain name that is worth a fortune too.

If you are looking for an SEO expert to optimize your website, make sure they use white hat techniques and they are honest about what they can deliver. No one knows when Google will do their next update, so no SEO can promise to keep you on the top of the SERP indefinitely, although an SEO expert who uses white hat techniques will have a far greater chance of keeping you there after a Google update.

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Jane Nriapia is a Director and Online Marketing Consultant at Cloud9 Web Solutions. Cloud9 Web Solutions are a SEO Leeds based digital marketing business who provide SEO, PPC, Social media and content marketing

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