Have you ever wondered how Google manages to produce an answer for every question you throw at it? The answer is pretty complex, but it can essentially be boiled down to one word — algorithms.
The simple definition of an algorithm is that it is a set of rules. These rules are followed to produce some sort of result. In the case of Google, once you enter a term into the search engine, the algorithm works its magic to produce a set of results (websites) that it thinks are most relevant to your search term and intention.
This algorithm is incredibly complex, not least because of the fact that it is constantly changing. Google recently announced a major core update to the algorithm that was released at the start of June. This update will be followed by another in only a few weeks time. It is the role of an SEO company in Australia to keep on top of these changes and how they impact their clients.
The Google algorithm (or rather, algorithms) is a very complex system that is designed to help users find exactly what they are looking for when searching online. Google aims to present its users with relevant, trustworthy, and authoritative information. In order to do this, it relies upon a number of different algorithms that work to understand what content you are looking for and what the context of your search is.
If understanding what you are looking for is one half of the equation, the other is being able to locate this information amongst the billions of websites that are out there. In order to do this, Google ‘crawls’ each site that it comes across, using a variety of tools and signals to develop an understanding about the content of the page. It then saves the page through a process known as ‘indexing’. When a user types in a query, the algorithms try to retrieve the most relevant result possible from the indexed pages.
Google tries to be as transparent as possible about what factors they are ranking web pages on. In fact, their website features extensive information explaining how the algorithms interact to return search results. Broadly summarised, the factors that the search engine uses to rank pages include:
If Google’s aim is to help users find the content they are looking for, it makes sense that they would provide as much information and tools as possible to help business owners build websites that accurately reflect their brand, product and services.
Google offers webmaster guidelines to help web developers create websites that will be quickly crawled by the search engine’s bots. They also are open about the kinds of changes that they make to the algorithms.
This last point is important. Google is constantly making tweaks to the factors they rank web pages on. When you think about the nature of search, this makes sense. While 15 years ago, smartphones were only just being introduced to the world, these days they are one of the most popular ways to access the online world. Accordingly, Google has made several changes to their algorithms that prioritise the mobile user experience.
In reality, Google makes hundreds of updates per year. However, some are more important than others.
On June 2, 2021, Google announced yet another update to their algorithm. The update was what is known as a ‘broad core update’ meaning that it has the potential to significantly impact search ranking results. It’s important to note that Google has indicated this is the first of a two-part update, with the second half expected to be rolled out in July 2021.
It can typically take a few weeks for website developers and owners to understand the full impact of an update. For many website owners, there may be no changes at all.
If you have noticed that the latest update has had a negative impact on your search ranking, it’s important to remember that the next update could do the exact opposite. Don’t panic just yet!
However, if you are interested in the inner workings of the Google algorithm and want to better understand how to optimise websites and content for both bots and humans, keep reading.
SEO can be broken up into three broad categories — on-page SEO, technical SEO, and off-page SEO. The first two are concerned primarily with how your website operates and the kind of user experience that visitors have when visiting your page.
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is all about sharing your site and content with as many external sources as possible.
Combined, these three strategies can be used to improve how relevant, trustworthy, and authoritative your content is — the three factors by which Google ranks websites.
If you are still a little unsure about what SEO is or what it involves, that is perfectly alright. It’s quite a complex area of marketing, which is why many Australian companies opt to outsource their digital marketing to a professional SEO company.
By handing over your SEO to an experienced team, it will be their responsibility to keep up to date with all the latest Google algorithm changes. Their skills and knowledge means that they will be able to make informed decisions about what changes need to be made to your webpage and content to optimise for Google’s bots and human users alike.