Hello, Friends! Today, we’re exploring the complex world of Google’s algorithms—the gatekeepers of search engine rankings. What are these algorithms meant to do? Why are they changing regularly? How can your business navigate the gauntlet to move ahead of your competition? Fear not, we’re here to answer these questions, illuminate the path, and help you accelerate your business.

Google’s primary product is a search engine, and they are very good at it. But what makes them so good? How did they capture over 90 percent of the market share at one time? Why do we assume the top results that we are given are reputable companies, better than the ones on page 10??

One word. “Relevancy”. It is what makes Google results “feel” more reliable, more valid, and more trustworthy. It’s an odd word to think about and difficult to define, yet we see it regularly and take for granted that it is in our best interest. We allow Google’s definition of it to guide many of our decisions, without considering how Google ensures that the top results in any search is, in fact, relevant.

That’s a pretty impressive feat of social engineering. So how does Google accomplish this 9 billion times per day? The answer to that lies within an intricate array of algorithms, set to seek out and “read” information on a website, and decide if the website is relevant to the search query.

Let’s take a look at these algorithms:

1. **Google Panda**: This algorithm focuses on content “quality”. It looks for valuable, original content and helps to identify “copy and paste” sites that try and repost existing content from other sites to gain relevance. To make Panda “happy”, create high-quality, original and unique content that is important to your customers.

2. **Google Penguin**: Penguin is all about links. It keeps an eye on the links pointing to your website from other websites, and looks for how those other sites are performing. Penguin looks to ensure your website has social proof of sorts and sees backlinks as a recommendation. Think of each link to your site as a referral on a resume, the more you have, and the better the source, the more reputable you appear. But be careful, Penguin can penalize you if you try to overtly “game” the system.

3. **Google Hummingbird**: Hummingbird is a semantic search algorithm. The purpose of which is to understand user intent and satisfy that intent. This is where your content and market research comes into play. Once you understand what your customers are looking for, you can align your content to provide answers to customer queries. Succeed at predicting this and Hummingbird will favor your site over others.

4. **RankBrain**: A machine learning algorithm, RankBrain aids in interpreting search queries. It measures user engagement metrics like click-through rate (CTR) and dwell time, constantly checking to see how well the platform is performing by measuring the satisfaction of the user as a product of their behavior. To improve this, you should create informative, long form, engaging, and appealing content. Like this blog post ;-).

So now that we’ve covered some algorithms, here are some recommendations to consider:

– **Content**: Spend time developing valuable, original content that engages your audience, including educational and informative articles, blog posts, and even videos.

– **Links**: Find ways to earn and create high-quality backlinks from established websites within your industry. Avoid buying links, as they can lead to penalties from Google.

– **Know Your Customer**: Imagine and anticipate your audience’s needs, desires, questions, and interests. Then, develop content that will engage and inform.

– **Technical SEO**: There is a technical side to SEO, as well. When engineering your website, consider that speed, mobile-friendliness, and accessibility will improve user experience and your rankings.

Understanding Google’s algorithms are essential for anyone operating in the digital realm. The more you know about what the various algorithms are looking for, the better you will be at improving your website’s visibility and rankings.

These algorithms change often and new ones are introduced regularly, so check back in with us to see the latest info on the world of SEO.

Ready to embark on your SEO journey? Reach out to us today for expert guidance and tailored strategies. Let us take you through the gauntlet of algorithms together and pave the way for digital success!