Why Trying To Reverse Engineer Google’s Search Algorithm Is Like Fighting A Lost Battle

SEO consultants are always preoccupied with reverse engineering Google’s search algorithm. Most of their time is spent trying to find what can propel their site to Google’s first page. They are constantly sifting through top SEO blogs and websites in hope of catching that missing piece of wisdom that’s holding back their sites. They listen to each and every video of Matt Cutts, paying attention to every word uttered from his mouth. For many SEOs Matt Cutts is their demigod.

Poster for the sci-fi action drama Battle: Los Angeles

Alas, no sweet end for you like in the movie: Sci-fi action drama Battle: Los Angeles


It’s downright funny (and sad) that forums start working overtime every time there is a statement from Google or any of Google’s henchmen.  As soon as Google says that they have updated something or are using this as signal or introducing that change, SEO run back to their sites and promptly start making changes.

Here’s why SEOs cannot fight search engines

What a majority of SEOs do not understand or do not want to understand is that Google’s algorithm has evolved in to something way beyond the realms of our understanding.   Same is true of any major search engine.

Search engines companies hire the best brains when it comes to computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians and perhaps also scientists from other fields like psychology etc. To think of it that we SEOs can try to break their algorithm and workout patterns is a folly in this age.

Search engines companies hire the best brains when it comes to computer scientists, engineers and mathematicians and perhaps also scientists from other fields like psychology etc. To think of it that we SEOs can try to break their algorithm and workout patterns is a folly in this age.

Google has publically stated that they use more than 200 signals in their algorithm while Bing says they use more than 1000. The veracity of both claims is questionable. There is no way of knowing how many signals they use and how they measure use them in their algorithm. Google said they use social signals as well. When SEO companies heard this they scrambled to get more FB likes. But did they even wait for few minutes to think which social signals Google may take in to account, how much and how?

SEOs will have to understand that there are way too many variable to take in to factor. Thinking of it, the ways a Search Engine can start off evaluating a site is just mind boggling.

We can start with the design, content, presentation, navigation, speed, links, keywords, traffic and so on.  To add to the mess is how other sites are optimized for a particular keyword.

With social signals also thrown in to mix, the task for any algorithm becomes incredibly complex.  Before we forget, there are local influences too. Hence it will be safe to presume that search algorithms maybe the most complex code on Earth coupled with most sophisticated networks of servers and computer hardware.

Search algorithms are regularly tweaked by engineers. These algorithms are in a constant flux with new changes added, results evaluated and then few retained while others discarded on a daily basis. Even if some loophole does get noticed by any hawkeye SEO analyst, these are quickly noticed and fixed.

No SEO can hope to get a grasp of what algorithms are about leave alone try reverse engineering them. Search algorithms are moving targets, in fact, they maybe just like stars. Of course we see stars but we see is how they were millions of years back. Same way, what Search engines are way ahead of us.

Chasing Algorithms is futile!

What can you do?

If you’re feeling disheartened then don’t be. While trying to second guess or reverse engineer Google is out of question, what we should do is

1)      Attempt to understand what users/readers want

2)      Provide valuable and useful content

3)      Promote your content

4)      Make connections

Yes, boring but the only thing we can realistically control. Instead of trying to control what we can’t why not work on things where we can make a difference and that’s our sites.

About

I am the founder of Azurebiz Solutions. I love to write about SEO and technology. On my blog, you can read about my views on the Search industry. Aniruddha on Google+

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