According to the Internet research firm Netcraft, there are nearly 150,000,000 active Web sites on the Internet today. The task of sifting through all those sites to find helpful information is monumental. That’s why search engines use complex algorithms — mathematical instructions that tell computers how to complete assigned tasks.
For a typical query, there are thousands, if not millions, of webpages with helpful information. Algorithms are the computer processes and formulas that take your questions and turn them into answers. Today Google’s algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to guess what you might really be looking for. These signals include things like the terms on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank.
Google’s goal is to get you to the answer you’re looking for faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between you and the knowledge you seek. If you’re looking to deepen your understanding of how search has evolved, this Google video highlights some important features like universal results and quick answers.
For more in-depth information I refer to “Google Inside Search“.
Google Search Algorthm
Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a “major” algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways.
Knowing the dates of these Google updates can help explain changes in rankings and organic website traffic and ultimately improve search engine optimisation.
What to expect in SEO?
by Matt Cutts
Matt Cutts leads the Web-spam team at Google, and he works with the search quality team on search engine optimisation issues. In January 2000 Matt joined Google as a software engineer. He is one of the co-inventors listed upon a Google patent related to search engines and web spam. He has given advice and made statements on help related to the use of the Google search engine and related issues.
The video presentation is his rough estimate of what search engine optimisers (SEOs) and web-masters should expect. It is a very rough estimate, because priorities, projects, and timing can change based on a lot of different factors. But he hopes this presentation will give you gives an idea of what to expect in the coming months as far as what his team is working on.