Basics of SEO and the Algorithm that Decides Google's Search Rank

According to Netcraft's April 2017 Web Server Survey, there are about 1.8 billion websites in the world. When you enter a keyword and search on Google, the web page related to the keyword is displayed. How exactly do you decide the search ranking? This time we will introduce Google's search algorithm that I'd like to hold down to work on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

The IT Industry Guide is a collection of articles and resources by Internet Academy, Japan's first learning institute specialising in the Web. Here, we introduce you to industry insights in an easy-to-understand manner.

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What is an algorithm?

An algorithm is a procedure or a method to solve a problem. A program is written in a programming language to describes an algorithm.

Google's search algorithms determine the search ranking of websites, and there are two elements that play a particularly important role in determining this ranking, query-dependent elements, and query-independent elements. Queries generally refer to "inquiries", and inquiries are called search queries to search engines.

Query-dependent elements contain elements such as keywords and related information entered by the user, geographic information, personal information, and so on. On the other hand, a query-independent element is an element that contains information that the search engine has before query execution, based on information or links gathered on the page. An index "page rank (PageRank)" which measures importance based on a link to a page or site is also classified as a query-independent type.

Search algorithm example

Google's search algorithm is updated frequently. In 2011, there was a famous update called the "Panda Update" that was impacted all English-speaking countries. The Panda Update is a search algorithm update that prevents low-quality content from being displayed in the higher ranks of search results, and it was carried out to improve user satisfaction with the results received.

As another example, there is "penguin update" (the first implementation is April 2012). The Penguin Update is said to lower the search ranking of spam behavior and websites which markedly violate the webmaster guidelines.

Future prospects

Google's search algorithm is constantly changing. Two major changes to be made in 2017 are listed below.

Implement update to lower the search ranking of low-quality Websites

In February 2017, Google announced on its official blog for webmasters that it will implement updates to lower the search ranking of poor quality websites. The update is targeted for Japanese search, and it is judged as a low-quality Website a Website that prioritizes displaying your own page on the top search rather than providing useful and reliable information.

The publication of Google-only update by Japan is unusual, but the implementation of the update is said to be the beginning of the disturbance of the medical curation media at the end of 2016.

Update to lower the search ranking of low-quality Websites

In February 2017, Google announced on its official Webmasters blog that it will implement updates to lower the search ranking of poor quality websites. A page is judged a low-quality website when it prioritises its display as a top search result using tricks or hacks, rather than providing useful and reliable information to users.

Introduction of a Fact Check function

In April 2017, a fact-checking function was introduced, which displays a label on search results when it conducts a fact check (fact confirmation) of the website. Therefore, when users search, articles that have been validated by their fact checking quality criteria appear with a label next to it, to avalidate authenticity. Providing users with useful and reliable information will become more of a priority.

In conclusion

In order to improve the convenience of search users, Google strives to improve the search algorithm on a daily basis. It goes without saying that Web Representatives are required to produce high-quality content, implement policies to encourage many users to view the content, and check trends in the ever-changing Web Marketing industry.

There is a way to learn Google's search algorithm by studying by yourself, but in order for your knowledge to reach a level that can be utilized for practical use, we recommend learning Web Marketing Fundamentals from a specialised Web Institute.

The Digital Marketing Course developed by Internet Academy covers the foundation of Web Marketing, as well as the Google ad delivery tool "AdWords" and the website analysis tool "Google Analytics". It is a hands-on course that can be useful in the field. If you are interested, please contact us for a free trial lesson to experience a classroom in session.