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Location: Manchester, Lancashire, United Kingdom

On a quest for knowledge

March 13, 2005

Google's algorithms

For some time now people have been increasingly talking about Google's algorithm and the fact that they may be using more than one. On the WebWorkShop SEO Forum, PhilC a site administrator has been conducting some detailed research into this phenomenon. What PhilC has been doing is querying the numerous datacenters (DC’s) used by Google to answer user’s keyword searches.

PhilC has noticed that there appears to be several groups of DC’s returning different results and inside these groups, there seems to be more than one algorithm in use. Read the full thread here. Google using more than one algorthim.

What does this mean?
Well I think PhilC summed it up well in one of his posts suggesting this would be a good way for Google to introduce algo updates on a couple DC’s enabling them to test them before introducing them more widely. This would help to prevent disasters such as the infamous (for some) Florida up-date which caused Google to do some back pedaling after realizing the new algo wasn’t as good as they first thought.
Another impact it has is to keep SEO’s on their toes, something many have said Google is trying to do with more and more vigor. Whether this is just a by-product nobody could really say one way or the other. One thing for shore is by using more than one algo it will be harder to work out it out.
One thing that gets me on this one is how can Google be giving you the most relevant results each time if it uses more than algo. Shorely in order to return the most relevant results you could only have algo, the most relevant algo.