Anyone looking to rank highly in the search engines needs to know a little bit about algorithms. I know, this sounds like some sort of esoteric calculus equation used exclusively by astrophysicists, but it is actually the heart of all search engines. Although there is some discrepancy as to the precise definition of an algorithm, it’s basically a method for solving problems using a precise sequence of instructions. Flowcharts provide a good analogy.
When you go through a flowchart, you are asked a series of questions and eventually led to some resolution. This is essentially of microcosm of an algorithm. Each search engine uses dozens of “signals” to comprise their algorithm, including variables such as a website’s speed, content and inbound links. As you can imagine, sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo! are constantly updating, augmenting and refining the signals used in their algorithms to ensure users are presented with the most pertinent information.