How Page Ranking Algorithms Can Affect Your Online Results

Google, Facebook and Amazon continually update their algorithms which can greatly affect how your pages rank.

page ranking algorithms
Where a website or product appears in online search rankings is incredibly important to a business. Often a company’s ranking on Google changes and the owners or marketing team don’t understand why. It’s all about page ranking algorithms.

If Google’s, Facebook’s and Amazon’s algorithms are a mystery, you may need to hire professionals to help you master this essential component of online marketing. Because hiring that great IT guy who builds a killer site and uses SEO, meta keywords and social media may not be enough to keep your business and products relevant and prominent in online searches.

Page ranking algorithms are the key to modern online marketing. Understanding them better gives you a huge boost in getting those precious site or page visits that lead to a growing customer or follower base.

What Are Page Ranking Algorithms?

Putting it simply, page ranking algorithms are math. We don’t need to understand the calculations, but we do need to grasp their function.

When you enter search terms or phrases into Google, or another search engine, the algorithms find pages relevant to those search words.

In the past, the rankings have been based solely on the number of hits a site receives or even on how long they’ve been on the internet. But the number of hits could be upped by hiring people to keep clicking. It happens. And weighing a site too heavily by its length of time on the internet favored some businesses over others unfairly.

There are many factors that go into page ranking algorithms. And they change all the time. And keeping up with the changes to these algorithms can be daunting.  Google alone adjusted its algorithms more than 500 times in 2014. It’s all in an attempt to make SEO fairer for everyone, and to provide Google’s and other engine’s users the best experience possible. Same goes for Amazon and Facebook.

Aren’t These Algos Pretty Much the Same?

If you learn about one, you understand them all, right?  Nope.  In fact, page ranking algorithms are proprietary equations and are guarded carefully. No one except the people creating and tweaking them really knows exactly what changes are being made.  It takes experience and expertise in deciphering how these changes are affecting sites and web pages. And that, you could say is part art and part science.

Amazon, Google and Facebook

  • Amazon uses page ranking algorithms to determine which products are shown in what order. Since three times as many people search for products on Amazon than on Google, it’s essential to get it right and fair. Amazon’s algorithm is known as “A9” and is a two-step process: it snags all the relevant items that meet a query, then ranks them based on what a user is most likely to buy.
  • Google created the very concept of page ranking algorithms. PageRank, Google’s algorithm, is incredibly complex as it judges what is good content for the search string entered. For example, when you begin to type a string, Google finishes it for you like it’s psychic. That’s all part of PageRank and it learns. Items like domain age, authority, and backlinks will count less than viewer retention, mobile ability, multimedia, and even honesty.
  • Even Facebook’s algo is continually changing. Although new users have been signing up less frequently, the amount of time people use Facebook is on the rise. Plus, Facebook’s connectivity lab is building lasers, satellites and drones to connect people everywhere up to the internet. Your news feed has likely been featuring your friends’ pictures less and showing current events and products more. It’s all based on what you’ve previously clicked on, shared, or liked.  And that’s the crux of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. The more people read, share and like something, the more you will see it. If you select not to view an item, or even block it, the algorithm notes your preference and modifies itself.

Can I Keep Up With All This Myself?

Learning about page ranking algorithms and how to use them is not impossible. So, yes, you can do it yourself to help your site. BUT, it is time consuming, it never ends, and no two algos are alike. For many businesses, it makes sense to hire a company to keep up with and navigate these page ranking algorithm changes. It saves a lot of confusion, and it can help move your site up in the rankings much faster than you could do it yourself.

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