Posted by: Kevin McNally
You use Google almost every day, but how much do you actually know about the world’s most popular search engine?
For anyone in the digital marketing field, understanding how Google works and how its algorithm ranks websites are incredibly important. But algorithm research doesn’t have to be as boring as it sounds – there are a lot of interesting Google facts about the search engine’s algorithm that makes the subject fun.
So, without further ado, here are four fascinating Google facts and other things you didn’t know about Google’s algorithm.
The patent for PageRank, the algorithm that ranks sites and determines what ends up on the first page of Google’s search results, isn’t actually owned by Google.
One of the interesting facts about Google you may not have known is that the algorithm’s patent is actually assigned to Stanford University, where Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin initially created the technology. In the decades since then, the university has made hundreds of millions of dollars selling Google stock and receiving research funds from the company.
Marketing professionals are always trying to optimize their site’s content so that Google’s algorithm ranks them higher, but that algorithm is a moving target. It’s estimated that Google makes between 500 and 600 minor changes to its algorithm each year. Some of the most recent, major updates include Possum, which factors in the searcher’s location to give them local results, and Fred, an update that penalizes sites with low-quality, affiliate-heavy content.
So while it may be impossible for anyone to hit a bullseye, staying on top of these changes and keeping up with fascinating Google facts like these is crucial for marketers trying to increase their sites organic traffic.
You may not think much of it when you ask your phone to look up nearby fast food restaurants while you’re driving down the highway, but voice search is completely changing the way search engines like Google work.
The way you speak is different from the way you type, and as voice-activated devices like Google Home become more popular, search queries are becoming more conversational. SEO marketers now have to consider the how, why, what, where, and when questions people are asking when they use voice search.
For the most part, Google’s algorithm is controlled by computer programs – for example, programs called “crawlers” search the web for sites that match a certain search query. But another one of the interesting facts about Google you may not have known is that there’s also a human element to its algorithm.
In addition to bots, Google uses actual people to evaluate the quality of its search results. There are 146 pages of rating guidelines search evaluators have to follow, and their findings are used to improve the way Google delivers results.
Did you learn some new things you didn’t know about Google’s algorithm before? If you enjoyed reading these interesting Google facts, be sure to check out our other informative articles on the Interactive Palette blog or call us for more information about how our digital marketing team can help your business rank higher on search engines.