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How Google’s Algorithm Works

How Google’s Algorithm Works

Google, being the world’s most popular search engine, is every company’s biggest feat to conquer. Understanding the algorithm that allows a site to rank better is the key to search engine optimization on Google. The truth is, most searchers will not go past the first few pages of results to look for the site that will suit their needs. That’s why every site’s target is to be listed on those pages.  It has now become a very valuable piece of online real estate.

Search Engine Optimization on Google is Based on This Algorithm

To make sure that your site does well, you need to fully understand how Google’s algorithm works. The first misconception you need to abolish is that there is just one algorithm. There’s actually an equally varied number of algorithms used. These algorithms each have a different set of data to work with, and for the most part, they work independently of each other.

Because Google is a really complex system, it had to come up with separate algorithms that are interconnected and make up a much more efficient system over time to determine what the best possible results would be. What this combination is able to do is fine-tune the searches that any user makes to their preference. That means that if they live in New Hampshire, and they look up plumbing services, they will most likely get search results for plumbers in that area. That near intuitive response has a lot to do with the encompassing nature of the search engine’s algorithms.

The same is true when you look up queries with grammar or spelling mistakes. Google tries to figure out what you really mean through their language models. This also includes analyzing the text based on the recent changes in the English language, such as slang terms, to find sites in their index that relate.

Once Google is successfully able to gauge that, it will find matches based on keywords.  Some factors include how often they appear, are they appearing in titles or subheadings and, overall, how likely it is that the site will match your needs.

Results are often compared to the response of the users who visited the site with the same search text as yours and how helpful they found the site to be. This process also includes checking whether the site is the same language as the text you looked up.

By ranking the most useful pages through the algorithms, Google is able to the streamline the results the search engine pulls up for the user. At the same time, it also makes the process of looking things up easier for the user because the goal is to have the best results, based on the comprehensive set of factors, on the first pages.


  1. Whally

    Hi Steve great article. Thanks for google algorithm as it makes searching produce great results. Is Featured Snippets also part of search engine result page?

    • Steve Scott

      Anything that shows up in your browser after hitting “go” is considered on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). However, a Featured Snippet can be awesome to have for your site as it is prominently displayed right on top of the SERP for all to see. Here’s a great article by the folks at Search Engine Watch on the Featured Snippet.


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