In order for SEO to work effectively, there is a series of complex mathematical formula that these search engines use so as to assess how important or relevant a website is.
Based on their findings, these algorithms are then used to rank such websites according to their specific search results.
What Do The Algorithms Look Like?
Just like the algorithms used in machine intelligence in areas such as the financial and banking sectors, the success of SEO lies in the secrecy of these mathematical combinations. In lay terms, revealing what the algorithms look like would go against their core function which is to seamlessly rank websites based on search results.
It is generally believed that any search results from search engines need to be objective so in order to uphold such objectivity, the algorithms used should be kept secret. It is also important to remember that SEO algorithms are unique to every search engine.
What Do SEO Algorithms Have In Common?
In as much as they are a closely-guarded secret, there are three major common things that all SEO algorithms share.
Relevancy – All SEO algorithms check the relevancy of a page or website and this they do by assessing the frequency and distribution of the keywords on a web page. The algorithms will use the data received to rank the page based on how keywords are used. For instance, a page with keywords used in the title, subtitles and within the first few paragraphs of the page will likely rank higher on search engines.
On the other hand, if the keywords are not used in the cases mentioned above, or are too many and too close between [often referred to as keyword stuffing or spamming], the algorithms will immediately rank the pages lower in the search engines.
It is therefore imperative to ensure that aside from using the right keywords, the keywords are evenly distributed within the page and reasonably repeated.
Individual Factors – This is what you would call the similarity that makes all the difference. All search engine algorithms have specific individual factors that differentiate them from other algorithms. How do these individual factors play out? You may have realized that a search query does not necessarily turn up the same way in all the search engines and this is one way these SEO algorithms manifest their individuality.
Other common areas where SEO algorithms manifest their individuality is in relation t the number of search pages a search query returns. While these pages may be more indexed in other search engines, they may appear as indexed more frequently in others. Of notable mention is that these algorithms may also penalize pages for violating basic SEO protocols such as spamming.
Off-Page Factors – Last but not least, another way SEO algorithms are individual to one another is in relation to off-page factors. One of the most common off-page factors is the linking, as viewed both in terms of inbound and outbound links. So, how does this work? The rate at which links are clicked on your website by visitors determines the ranking given to your page by SEO algorithms.
Usually, a page that contains links that are clicked a lot will rank higher than another page with not so high clicking rate. The algorithms are not interested in the number of links in your page or how clickable they are more than they are interested in the actual records of how many people click those links within a given duration of time.
While all SEO algorithms will rank your website depending on these off-page factors, it is the rate at which they do the actual ranking that makes the difference. In other words, they use a different formula to determine how the average number of clicks should affect how high up you are ranked in search results.