No, this isn’t a joke headline, or something to entice you to click. Google has decided to open up (a little) of their algorithm. This is great news for some, and a surprising move by the world’s most popular search engine.
Obviously Google has kept their algorithms secret for competitive and abuse reasons, and I’m surprised at this announcement. Black and White hat SEOs have been reverse engineering this algorithm for years and this closely guarded secret has never truly leaked to the masses, so this is like manna from heaven right? Not exactly, but they are giving some hints and things to consider.
What is the “Google algorithm?”
Earlier this year I wrote an article about the Google algorithm (which actually is a combination of thousands of algorithms I imagine, however it’s easier to speak of them as one) and they confirm it, and also expand on my theory of it.
What does “the algorithm” consist of? From their post:
The most famous part of our ranking algorithm is PageRank, an algorithm developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who founded Google. PageRank is still in use today, but it is now a part of a much larger system. Other parts include language models (the ability to handle phrases, synonyms, diacritics, spelling mistakes, and so on), query models (it’s not just the language, it’s how people use it today), time models (some queries are best answered with a 30-minutes old page, and some are better answered with a page that stood the test of time), and personalized models (not all people want the same thing).
This article is the most information google has ever given out on how their search quality works, (short of the webmaster guidelines, which everyone should read) so this is a big step. And it sounds like they’re going to give out more.
Why are they opening up?
This is definitely the question of the day, and I have no answer for that. Perhaps it’s a part of the ”don’t be evil” pledge that some say they are drifting from. There are an equal amount of Google “haters” as well as fans, and they have suffered from a lot of criticism lately, and perhaps this is a move to help that in a small way. It’s unlikely their spot as the top search engine will be compromised anyway, so they figure this is a harmless move to appear more open and friendly. That’s my guess.
So read over the article, and keep an eye on their corporate blog, you might be able to learn something.