Understand a search engine algorithm ranking algorithm
So far, you know that search engines are using crawlers in order to access your websites and to get data about your content. But then, they need to identify which website is the most relevant according to the search entered by the user. The magical receipt is what we call an algorithm.
As you can imagine, general search engines such as Google, Bing and others do not want to communicate about the algorithm they are using in order to rank the websites.
As a result, you can just guess the way search engines algorithms are working. In general SEO professionnals are making tests and are disclosing some of their results publicly. Here is for example one source of information, listing some of the criterias you can act on:
Note also that most search engines are disclosing a part of their algorithm through documentation so as tools to help them understand better what your website is about. To give you and idea:
In the case of YaCy, as it is an Open Source search engine the algorithm is disclosed publicly, even if it stays kind of complex to analyze. You can easily find the default configuration within the admnistration panel then ranking and heuristic. As you can see it is taking into consideration:
- title tag.
- author of the page.
- meta description.
- meta keywords.
- all the visible text.
- synonyms of the words within the text.
- h1, h2.
- name of the file.
- path of the file.
And as you can see, those parameters are just a few that the default algorithm is taking into consideration and that each of them has a different weight. You can see that customize list is far more developed and that general search engine have many other data they can use to customize their algorithm ranking.
In fact if you look closely at the list of the different factors you will see that the organization of the data and the weight attributed to each factor is really close to a formal letter you will write to someone:
- who is the one sending the letter.
- to whome she/he is sending the letter to.
- what is the date of the document.
- from which location it has been sent.
- the object of the letter.
- the first lines of the letter are important because it introduce the topic.
- then you have the developed plan.
- then it goes within the paragraph by focusing on the main information.
- then it is mentioning potential references like a curriculum.
- then ending the content with possibilities to go further.
- then the letter is signed.
In general there are three big categories you need to optimize in order for your content to be visible:
We will later on in this course those three categories in details.