The Googlerithm

Googlerithm Whiteboard

The Googlerithm is the “Google algorithm”, rolled into a single, catchy term. Ask a programmer what algorithm means, and he’ll probably tell you something like: “An algorithm is a set of instructions to accomplish a task.” In the case of Google’s algorithm, the task is to take a search term and end up with a relevant set of content, sorted by relevance. To accomplish this task, Google has a set of instructions that their machines follow for identifying and sorting relevant content based on the keyword search. This is the Googlerithm. But what exactly are those instructions?

The exact instructions, weights, and specifics about the Googlerithm are probably only privy to a few people on earth that work in Mountain View, California. However, years of SEO experience from SEOs across the globe have contributed to understanding much about the Googlerithm from the outside, based on experimentation and testing.

This is an attempt to condense the Googlerithm into its most basic components. It can serve as a good checklist for your sites, to make sure you aren’t missing important elements in your search engine optimization. Keep in mind there are many more factors, but this is a simple list of the most important items.

Backlinks

Anchor text of links
Context of link (subject matter of site and surrounding text)
• Strength of page and site (The Page Strength tool is helpful)

Content

Keywords in title, header tags (h1, h2), main text, and URL
Content quality (readability, spam-like?, and possibly manual ratings)
Internal links (and here, and here, and here)
Outbound links (topic, quantity, and reciprocal; case study here)

Other Factors

Age of domain
Visitor metrics (time on page, click-through rates from SERPs)
• Freshness (see indexed in an hour article)

Take a long, hard look at each of these 3 areas and identify how you are doing in each factor. If you need some more information, I’ve included links to some authoritative articles on most of the factors above. A new version of SEOmoz’ Search Ranking Factors that gathers opinions of experts on a long list of factors. Make a list for yourself on what needs done for each area so that you can make the most out of the Googlerithm.

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