search engine algorithms

Understanding Search Engine Algorithms

The following article is designed to introduce you to what search engine algorithms are and how they are used to help rank a website so that potential customers can see it. Google is a major player and we will describe a bit about their importance and some of the changes they have implemented over time. With the volatility associated with algorithm changes, you will learn the importance of monitoring it yourself or hiring someone to help make sure you maintain high rankings. To learn how our SEO Experts can help you improve your website, please contact us for a free consultation and we will find a way to meet you where your current needs are!

Why Businesses Invest in Search Engine Optimization

Businesses invest in Search Engine Optimization with the goal of driving organic traffic to their website. When a visitor uses a search engine such as Google or Bing, the results are populated based on various criteria, including the keywords used and their frequency, link, and the quality of the content and reputation of the domain. These are the aspects that make up the search algorithm providing results for organic searches. Why is this important? According to statistics released from Google itself, results on “page 1” receive 95% of all website traffic and 32% of that traffic lands on the first result. An in-depth introduction to the importance and mechanics of SEO can be found at and an infographic on the data above can be found at digital synopsis.

The Introduction of the Google Search Algorithm

It is well known in the SEO community that there is a long history of Google updates to this algorithm, and some speculate that they make hundreds of updates per year. In the past, website’s rankings on the Google search pages weighed heavily on keyword density and how many sites linked to that page.

What’s not as well known is that when Larry Page and Sergey Brin began work search engine algorithms based engine, it wasn’t called Google, it was called Backrub. That’s right, instead of using Google today, we could have all been using a search engine called Backrub. The idea behind the name came from the ranking approach to the underlying search engine algorithm, which counts backlinks as credible ranking determinants. A year in to development, Backrub rebranded as Google, using PageRank as the determining factor for their search engine algorithm’s results. 

search engine algorithms

PageRank is named after Google Founder Larry Page and was the first algorithm used for Google search. Results of google page rank were weighted based on the links to a certain page and the traffic between those links. The outdated context behind the pagerank algorithm was that traffic was “surfing” the web, browsing from one link to another. Once the mechanics of the algorithm were understood, however, it became easy for content creators to manipulate their web pages and drive up their page rank.

Google has been extremely proactive in their response, constantly rolling out new updates to improve their algorithm. Location based results were added in google update Pigeon to change the search engine page ranking (SERP). Pigeon took into consideration customer reviews, whether the business was claimed by an author and the legitimacy of that business. This update was further refined by Possum, Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird and Fred, making the results again, harder to manipulate. Google has continued to change their algorithm, improving the rankings on legitimate, secure and well sorted websites while punishing sites that are slow, cause spam and have high bounce rates. SunCity Advising has seen huge improvements across client sites by improving their legitimacy through SSL Certificates and built-in security. Additionally, improving the site and back-end server speed have boosted ranking for many of our clients. We follow the SEO industry to stay abreast of new trends and technologies related to Google. 

Why to Monitor Search Engine Algorithms

Perhaps the most important aspect of SEO is the analysis and tracking of a web page. Due to the expanding complexity of search engine algorithms, it is extremely important to analyze the performance of your page and make improvements to garner a better result. Dedicating an SEO professional to respond to Google’s changes and make improvements to your site is the best way to guarantee web traffic. Without this being done, web site traffic can dwindle over time until there is no valuable traffic left all. SunCity Advising has a team of SEO professionals that stay in tune with the latest google algorithm updates and provide live analytics on your web page.

Contact one of our advisers to see how we can help you optimize your site. We also provide a FREE WEBSITE REPORT if you would like to know where your brand currently stands from a digital perspective.