What is Search Algorithm & How it Affects SEO Strategy?

6 Min Read. |

I visit my browser very often and start googling around my different queries. More often than not, I do get the right response to my queries but as a result I do have a query for which I keep looking for the right answer.

How the search fetched out the right content or the closest one? And we get to the end where we come across different sets of Search Algorithm.

So the question is what is search algorithm?

So according to a basic definition search algorithm is one that retrieves information stored within some data structure, and the data structure can be anything like arrays, search trees hash table or any storage method. Finding a useful information on the ­World Wide Web as per our need is something many of us have been taking for granted. The task of scrutinizing through all those sites to find the needed information is monumental. That’s why all the search engines use complex algorithms with mathematical instructions that tell the computers how to complete the task assigned by the user.

Have you ever thought of which was the first company to start the search algorithm and where it stands today?

AltaVista was the company to allow natural language queries with advanced searching technique in year 1994. Later on Overture bought AltaVista. It used to be one of the most popular search engine but gradually lost to google and as a result it was purchased by Yahoo in 2003.


How Google search algorithm works:

Google search works on Spiders (Automated Program), they travel entire Web by searching the page which contain keyword and they follow the link on those web pages and hence create a bunch of result. let us take an example to understand it more clearly. I want to know who is the most decorated Olympian in history, so I will search most decorated Olympian. Now google searches all the web pages that contains the keyword, then it will assign rank to pages depend on several factors like how many times the page contains the keyword whether the keyword is in the URL, description or title and many more other factors. Higher rank pages come on the Google’s search engine result page, that means the best link which provides you the answer or which is related to your query are ones the google list. So my answer is American swimmer Michael Phelps has won the most Olympic medals with 28 medals (23 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze). More clear idea can come after watching this video.

More on Google Search Algorithm

Since it came into existence Google keeps on changing its algorithm to make search result better.

In this video Matt Cutts explains that they keep on changing its algorithm and the frequency is 350-400 times in a year that is approximately 1 per day. It can be a minor change like better synonyms, web spam improvement and many more or introduction of a new algorithm like google panda, google penguin and many more. Some of the prominent algorithms are:

  • Page Rank: 

Page Rank named after Larry page one of the founder of Google. This algorithm is used by Google Search to rank websites in Google’s Search Engine Results. It is a way to rank the website pages based on measuring its importance. According to Google:

Page Rank works by determining the estimated importance of the website by checking the counting the number and quality of links to a page. The only underlying assumption is that important websites are likely to receive more links as compared to other websites.

  • Google Humming Bird: 


Google introduced Hummingbird algorithm about August 30, 2013, and announced the change on September 26.

Google says Hummingbird is about not only about synonyms but also about context. With Hummingbird it is google is able to judge the context – thereby judging the intent of a person carrying out a search, to determine what they are trying to search. Google says  Hummingbird is the first major update of its type since 2001 after caffeine update

  • Google Panda:

Google released Google Panda in February 2011, the purpose of this algorithm is to lower the rank of the low quality sites and higher the rank of high quality sites. Soon after the roll out of Google Panda there was a huge drop down in the ranking of sites which contains lots of advertisement and there was an urge in the ranking of sites like new site and social media. After the roll out of Google Panda, Google web forum was filled with a lot of complaints from the copyright infringes, in order to get better ranking than those sites which contain original content. Google publicly asked for data points to help scrapers better. Google’s Panda has received several updates since the original roll out in February 2011.

Google introduces many algorithm and keep on updating its algorithm.

Is Search algorithms is really important to SEO, if yes then how it will affect SEO?

Google keep on changing its search algorithm, to target less quantity content so that they can appear less frequently in the search result than those sites which contain less advertisement, more content and many other factors.

Many google search updates have impacted many reputable sites. Search Marketer have had to learn how to improve their sites according to Google’s algorithm to avoid losing ranking.

Few of the google algorithm and its effect on SEO are listed Below:

  • Google Panda:

This algorithm was introduced to lower rank of the sites contains too much of advertisement, repetitive or excessive duplicate content or low quality content. Those sites which are having low quality content, excessive duplicate content were automatically lower in the google ranking. To maintain the google ranking or to improve the ranking the search marketer should include the high quality content, less advertisement in their sites. After the release of panda, it was very necessary to have a high quality content, if we talk about high quality content does not comes from quantity, if your content is not high quality and you are just increasing the text it will not improve your ranking on google page. So what matter is the to include that information which is helpful to the user.

  • Google Penguin:

Google’s Penguin Algorithm was introduced a year after Google Panda. Both the algorithms are grouped together to improve the quality of content that appears in the search engine result. The main agenda of introducing PEnguin is to find out Spams.

When Google’s search algorithm is sophisticated people find out it is very easy to improve their page rank by simply obtaining significant number of “Backlinks”. Penguin is targeting pages that depended upon poor-quality by targeting low quality link. Web sites which contains spam backlink or low quality links are forced to remove from their websites.

  • Google Mobile Update:

In the year of 2015, Google did many updates in order to improve the content. With this update Google found that in future, mobile will dominate the internet search world. Soon after the mobile update, Google announced that mobile surpassed computer/desktop.

This mobile friendly update forced the site to become mobile friendly so that they can maintain their rank on google search. this means search marketer had to work on their sites and considering following design factor:

  1. Page Should be clearly seen on mobile or making a mobile page.
  2. Including all that forum which a user can easily fill on the smartphone.
  3. Having site navigation front, center which is easy for the customer to use with their fingers.


Google will keep on changing its search algorithms and it will directly or indirectly will affect the SEO.

We have to keep following points in mind:

  1. Content – Content is really very important, make sure your site contains high quality content.
  2. Backlink- avoid adding spam link or low quality backlinks, and focus on high quality backlinks.
  3. User friendly: Try to make your website user friendly. So that  user will get the proper solution of his/ her query.

Image Credit: quepublishing, sleeplessmedia

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