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When people refer to the “Google algorithm”, they are often referring to a complex system of multiple algorithms used to determine the information displayed on search result pages. However, algorithms still require a human touch to function properly. Check out this article to learn more.
For many, it would be difficult to definitively explain what the “Google algorithm” is. An algorithm plays an integral role in computer science and is somewhat akin to the standard mathematical equation or formula, though generally more complex than the types of formulas and equations the average person has used or solved. It is a sequence that defines how a computer should perform a function and solve a defined problem.
Most generally, the term “Google algorithm” is frequently used to refer to a complex system that leverages multiple algorithms to analyze data within a defined set of rules and determine which web pages contain the most helpful online information. Then, these algorithms rank that content accordingly on the search engine results pages (SERP). Algorithms also impact how other popular Google products perform, from Google Ads to YouTube results.
However, these algorithms do not function in isolation. Human input and feedback are required to maximize the algorithms’ functionality. Keep reading to learn more.
How Does the Google Algorithm Work?
In the search world, the Google algorithm refers to the entire process leveraged to ultimately rank and serve results on the SERP. At its core, the algorithm utilizes Googlebot to crawl, index, and rank content based on various ranking factors designed to test quality.
When someone inputs a search query into Google, the algorithm (more accurately a set of multiple complex algorithms) retrieves and serves the indexed data accordingly.
The algorithm is continuously tweaked and updated to refine the SERPs and promote increasingly relevant search results for users. Some of these updates are minor and likely go unnoticed by all but experienced SEO (search engine optimization) professionals. However, other updates are publicly announced and are much more noticeable. You can check out a list and explanation of the various algorithm updates from 2000 through the present in this resource from Moz.
The daily work of the Google algorithm is largely managed in a hands-off manner. That is, people are not manually inputting the results for each of the millions of searches performed on Google each day. However, human involvement is required to keep this machine up and running.
Where Do Humans Fit Into the Algorithm Equation?
Despite our reliance on technology and the generally increasing commitment to automation in companies across the board, industries cannot solely rely on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithms. Thus, human touches remain integral to business processes. Google’s algorithms are no exception.
While we are certainly not privy to the innermost workings of Google and cannot provide an exhaustive list of the people making its famous algorithms go, there are some obvious or well-known groups of people, even beyond the professional support staff integral to every company, that play a key role in keeping the Google machine going.
Most obviously, Google relies on its team of in-house engineers (and presumably consultants when needed) to keep its algorithms in tip-top shape. Google has teams dedicated to tweaking the algorithm and resolving bugs in its products. However, it also certainly has teams constantly working on the future of Google products and their associated algorithms.
Back in 2010, a Google representative indicated it makes changes to its core algorithm at least once a day. There is no reason to think this has significantly changed. Even now, Google “constantly” updates its search algorithms in addition to the broad core updates it periodically releases. In 2021, Google made 5,000 changes to Google Search, up from 4,500 changes in 2020 and 3,200 changes in 2019.
While information about the human elements of Google’s algorithms may be limited, Google employs more than 10,000 Quality Raters to evaluate (and in turn improve), its algorithms. These Quality Raters are third parties located across the globe who utilize the search quality rater guidelines to assess and provide feedback on the quality of search results.
While raters do not directly impact search rankings, their input is used to evaluate changes to the Google algorithm. Additionally, these raters are not limited to only helping with Google Search algorithms. For instance, Yahoo Finance recently interviewed a rater primarily involved with Google Ads.
Are you a Google user? You are also offering a human touch to the Google algorithm. As more and more people use Google Search and other Google products, the company gathers behemoth amounts of data.
Google search results invite people to send feedback on results through the “About this result” pane and a link at the bottom of the page.
However, the company also certainly monitors data on searchers’ behaviors and interactions with the platform. It is looking at how people respond to results – the ads they click, the organic results they view, their bounce rates, and more. All of this data helps Google improve its algorithms for better user experiences.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
When you have an in-depth knowledge of various aspects of technology impacting your legal marketing efforts, you can better optimize your strategies. The human element and Google’s algorithm are inextricably intertwined. There is no doubt that machine learning and advanced technology are a cornerstone of Google but human involvement is still incredibly important to the company’s success.Related Posts
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