What Is A Search Engine Algorithm?

Google Algorithm

An algorithm is a set of directives which results in a predictable result from a known point of origin.

The world famous PageRank is a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page.

When it comes to search engines, the algorithm controls the output of displayed results.

Google uses more than 200 components to order website results, and the algorithm is updated on a weekly basis. Google co-founder Larry Page has described the “perfect search engine” as something that “understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.” The reason for Google’s regular algorithm updates is that they are constantly chasing the vision of the “perfect search engine”.

On their website, Google has noted the guiding principles of their search:


As Larry said long ago, we want to give you back “exactly what you want.” When Google was founded, one key innovation was PageRank, a technology that determined the “importance” of a webpage by looking at what other pages link to it, as well as other data.


Google launched in 1998 with just 25 million pages, which even then was a small fraction of the web. Today Google indexes billions and billions of webpages, and the Google index is roughly 100 million gigabytes.


In the early days, Googlebots crawled the web every three or four months, which meant that the information you found on Google typically was out of date. Today Google is continually crawling the web ensuring that we can find the latest content available. Google caffeine and Google instant are products of serving up the latest content available.


Google’s average query response time is roughly one-fourth of a second. In comparison, the average blink of an eye is one-tenth of a second. Speed is a major search priority for Google. Search engineers are always working not just on new features, but ways to make search even faster.

Jim Adams