Google wants to give people the best search engine experience possible, so they use algorithms, which are sets of rules to analyse, match and rank web pages to list the most relevant search results. You don’t need to understand all of these algorithms; there are literally hundreds of changes to them each year. But if you understand some of the principles behind them, along with the fact that Google are global leaders in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), you can create a better a web presence that will, without doubt, not only increase your traffic but make your customers happy, which will in turn increase your traffic, and so on. Google will reward you.
Analyse: algorithms are used to analyse and predict the words we use in our searches, not SEO terms but the natural words and language that humans use. Google has moved on from SEO and so have its algorithms. So it’s better to make your web copy speak to your audience, providing content that answers their questions rather than stuffing it with SEO terms that mean they only have to click elsewhere to find what they want. Google wants content for your users, not search engines.
Match: Google uses matching algorithms to provide us with pages that are a match for our search. Key words are matched to find content, but more than that, it has to be of relevance and quality. Videos, lists and pictures will get you higher on search results, as will mobile-friendliness and content interactions. On the other hand, misspelt content denotes bad quality so it pays to make sure your copy is well written and spelt correctly.
Algorithms also rank pages according to how useful they are to users. Freshness of content, positive ratings and, crucially, links from well-respected, established pages to yours indicate a good user experience, and therefore usefulness. So if you can ask other reputable websites to link to any of your pages, and you to theirs, your site will rank higher.
The future holds an ever-increasing alignment of how Google works with how humans work so that it can respond intuitively to our myriad requirements for information and how we ask for it. Google wants to make us happy, and the more you respond to how it does this by making your customers happy too, online, and offline for that matter, the closer you’ll get to the top.