We’ve all heard about Google’s algorithms and how they have affected websites over the last few years. With Panda and Penguin taking down some very big branded websites, many ordinary website owners were left quaking in their boots and wondering what was going on. The whole point of these algorithms is to give searchers the best quality answers to their queries so that people find what they are looking for. Panda is all about content and the quality of it as well as ensuring the content is relevant to the site. Penguin is all about linking and the quality of the links and the sites to which the site is associated. Hummingbird reinforces what Panda and Penguin have done but also take into consideration mobile searches. So, now you have an idea of what these algorithms are, have you ever wondered about how they actually work? Read on to find out.
Have you ever been curious about how Google decides which algorithm is better than another, when they’re pushing out one of the many tweaks they do weekly? How do they judge which tweak actually produces better results and which produces lots of good results? Or does the spam team just wave a nerf bat over the server before hitting a big red button and hope for the best?
Google’s Matt Cutts spills the beans on how the search team actually does it in a webmaster help video, which asks what metrics Google uses to evaluate whether one iteration of the ranking algorithm is delivering better quality results to users than another.
While Cutts starts off saying that he could geek out on this topic for quite some time, and I’m sure many of us would love to hear him do just that, he said he will try and hold back for the sake of video length.
“Whenever an engineer is evaluating a new search quality change, and they want to know whether it’s an improvement, one thing that’s useful is we have hundreds of quality raters who have previously rated URLs as good or bad, spam, all these sorts of different things.
“So when you make a change, you can see the flux, you can see what moves up and what moves down, and you can look at example searches where the results changed a lot for example,” he said. “And you can say OK, given the changed search results, take the URLs that moved up, were those URLs typically higher rated than the URLs that moved down by the search quality raters?”
While Google tries to keep the specifics of their quality rater guidelines secret, they inevitably end up getting leaked. The most recent version became known in November and detailed exactly what quality raters are looking for when they rate search results. Click here to continue reading