search engine algorithm

About Search Engine Algorithms

Have you ever wondered how a search engine works? While they’re somewhat of a mystery, we can share some SEO secrets and explain to you the most basic information regarding how search engine algorithms work.

As Google says themselves, “You want the answer, not billions of webpages, so Google ranking systems sort through the hundreds of billions of webpages in our Search Index to give you useful and relevant results in a fraction of a second.”1 Search engine algorithms are the who, what, where, when, and why of search engine rankings.


To put it simply, a search engine algorithm is a set of rules that the search engine uses to determine the significance of webpage. By significance, we mean whether or not the page provides useful information in regards to the relevancy of the searcher’s query.


There are two major search engines: Google and Bing. While there are many other smaller and more specialized search engines, there are a few things that all search engines have in common: relevancy. Search engines want to show users the most relevant content possible.


How Does Google’s Algorithm Work?

Google uses several different factors in determining whether or not a webpage is useful for your query:1


  • Analyzing your words
  • Matching your search
  • Ranking useful pages
  • Considering context
  • Returning the best results


Google favors informative sites. Their algorithm consists of finding websites that read naturally and also convey useful information. When it comes to SEO and ranking strategies, you may think that if you use a keyword plenty of times that Google will find your page and include it in the SERPs. However, this tactic could backfire. Overusing a keyword or phrase can signal to Google that you’re trying to manipulate the algorithm, rather than provide good content.2


Google uses hundreds of different factors to return the best content on the web from your fingertips to your search results, so their algorithms avoids returning sites that provide poor user experience or may identify as spam.


How You Can Get Better Rankings on Google

While there is no one-strategy-fits-all approach, you can always keep some things in mind to help you speak to Google’s algorithms and get better rankings.


  1. Make pages for users, not for search engines.
  2. Make a site that’s easy to navigate.
  3. Create useful content, such as pages that are clear and accurate.
  4. Use meta data such as title tags, header tags, meta descriptions, and alt tags.
  5. Continue to produce fresh quality content.


For more information regarding search engine optimization and how to obtain organic results, check out the #1 SEO book, SEO Diet, written by Joe Laratro. Learn how to shape up your business online by one of the leading experts in the search engine marketing industry today.




  1. Google – How Search Algorithms Work
  2. Introduction – Joe Laratro – SEO Diet
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