Fancy Math: Search Engine Algorithms

In this article, we know that the topic of search engine algorithms may get some heads spinning, but we want to just touch on the subject.

An algorithm is a set of automated calculations a computer system makes to determine the likelihood of something. In the case of SEO, algorithms determine the likelihood of spam and fraud. They can’t filter out everything, thanks to the cleverness of some unscrupulous individuals, but search engines do a pretty good job of keeping up with the latest efforts.

What are these people trying to do? They want to rise in the rankings of Google and other search engines by illegitimate means, possibly when it comes to local searches.

Algorithms to Find Local Content

Search engines define “local” content as items on the internet which are specific to a geographical region such as a city, town, county, or a valley. A search relating to “Orange County, CA” should lead to results in that part of the state. A search for Bed and Breakfast spots in the “Salmon River Valley, BC” should only guide consumers to this part of Canada. Ask for “Smyrna, DE” and a search engine will veer away from “Smyrna, GA” or “New Smyrna Beach, FL” in favor of the spot in Delaware.

Knowing about Algorithms

Most people who use the internet have no idea what is going on in the virtual realm. The complicated system of calculations is invisible and almost instantaneous. No human mind could work that quickly in order to sift through trillions of bits of information on the worldwide web and bring the viewer assorted results in order of how well they apply to the request. SEO professionals make it their business to understand algorithms, however, because they affect how one should approach SEO in a legitimate and effective manner. Although unethical methods are meant to increase the number of times a search engine encounters one’s website and business, if the means used are penalized by Google and others, rankings will actually be lower.

Algorithm Changes

Adjustments to automatic calculations were anticipated before the end of 2016 and these did take place quite late in the year. Reports suggest the new algorithms were actually less punitive in nature but, really, they will still help engines identify spam and reduce ratings of sites which appear to contain spam and junk content.

SEO companies make it their business to remain up-to-date in these areas and have access to sites which report analytical data regarding search engine activity. Local searches aren’t the only ones affected, but they are critical to small businesses whose clients don’t know their names. These SEO customers need SEO to help customers find them.

Should You Know the Changes?

Does it matter if a firm knows about these changes or not? What if employees do the SEO work in a manner of speaking; building a website from a template and creating new content weekly without any SEO background? They can still do effective work if they follow some guidelines suggested online, guidelines which only skim the surface of SEO. These individuals don’t need to know about the calculations. Neither do companies hiring professionals to figure all of this out for them.

What Is an SEO Company Going to Do?

In some cases, an expert doesn’t have to do much to a site except add some keywords to existing content. His job could be to show companies how to use social media to their advantage. There could be some benefit to encouraging customers to review a business, thus improving a firm’s profile and reputation.

Deciding which approaches to take, however, involves research. Professionals uncover data which shows how many people are visiting a firm’s website. They can see how long they visit for. Analysis reveals the site’s loading speed and also discovers popular keywords which led a reader to the page. SEO experts view competitors’ statistics as well. With this information, professionals know how algorithms affect their clients.