We live in an era where many things are man-made. If we want to know more about processes, beginnings, and results, quick research online immediately brings forth the answers we seek.
And so it is with Google algorithm.
The Thing About Algorithms
Everyone knows what algorithms are, their purpose and why search engines like Google use them. But our knowledge can only go so far.
SEO has been in existence for several decades now. Since it became a reality for digital marketers, various theories about how search engine algorithms work have circulated online.
Everyone searches for the perfect formula – one that would catapult their website to the top of search engine results for priority search queries or keywords.
SEO specialists, on occasion, discover techniques that work for a certain duration. There was also a time when black hat practitioners did whatever and even got the results they wanted. But they never last. Whether they were honest-to-goodness well-researched strategies or strategies that seek to fool Google algorithms.
SEO is Ambivalent
Like any other field of study, SEO is not rocket science. No matter how much you do the math just so a website can rank, it doesn’t always add up. So are we just chasing a black cat in a dark room, blindfolded? Maybe if you fail to keep up. The sure answer is that your math may have been correct but Google doesn’t want you to figure it out. Once you understand the math and start manipulating the system to your advantage, they hurriedly redesign the algorithm. They change the numbers.
So SEO specialists have no choice but to use different strategies every time the algorithms change. You can say it’s no different from plumbing. You are not required to know about the entire sewer system as long as you understand what the pipes are for and are willing to do the dirty work.
Google Has Baby Algorithms
Gary Illyes from Google shared on Pubcon some weeks ago: “We have probably millions of baby algorithms and they act differently. They might do something that triggers more crawls on certain sites. It solely depends on the algo and what it’s trying to do.”
This goes without saying that Google tries to allocate different sub-algorithms for different topics or subjects. There is a “baby algorithm” for specific categories or industries. Travel articles, for instance, may have a different set of ranking criteria from real estate websites.
Now that we think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Don’t you ever wonder why your travel website client performs better than, say, your mortgage website client? Maybe your formula for the former was right but the latter obviously needs an entirely different set of strategies.
In conclusion: Google does not have one-size-fits-all ranking criteria for all topics. What works for one field may very well meet little success in another. And the challenge for every SEO specialist is simple: customise, customise, customise. Moreover, find out what Google is up to all the time. Go with the flow rather than move against the tide.
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