How the Heck Does Google’s Search Algorithm Work, Anyway?

When you distill it down, SEO is quite simple. It’s a matter of having your website conform to the standards and recommendations of search engines.

Search Engines

search engines 1Here we’ll focus on Google. To understand what Google’s standards and recommendations are, we first need to understand what Google does. At a basic level, Google’s search engine does the following:

  1. Crawling – Finding your website and all of the content contained on it.
  2. Indexing – Understanding and categorizing what your business does.
  3. Retrieving & Ranking – When a user types something into a search box, Google needs to first figure out which websites are relevant to that search, and then rank each website based on a combination of relevancy and popularity.

It then acts as a middle-man between you and your prospective customers. It will put the two of you in contact, if it deems that your business interests are aligned.

Think of Google’s search engine as the government of the internet world. It provides businesses and individuals with the infrastructure that they need to succeed. If you abide by their laws, work hard and have the right intentions, you’ll get handsomely rewarded (as you theoretically would in a democratic country). In this internet world, the reward is having business prospects sent to your website, en masse.

This seems quite generous of them, right? It’s not. A search engine’s raison d’etre is to give people the information they need, and make billions of advertising revenue in the process ($59 billion in 2014). The better they are at providing accurate, timely information, the more they earn from their advertising platform. So, it’s entirely in their interests to send people searching for your industry, products or services, to your website.

What analogies would you use to describe Google’s Search Algorithm?

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