The Art of Deciphering Search Engine Algorithms

Understand how a particular search engine’s algorithms work and you unlock the proverbial pot of gold to online marketing domination. This is why even as these algorithms get more and more complex, SEO companies pour resources into deciphering them so that the content they publish can rank higher.

This begs the question, however: How does one actually go about deciphering search engine algorithms? Several methods exist, all tied around continual experimentation, but to avoid a long-winded discussion on the subject, here’s but one popular example:

  1. Register a nonsensical domain name.

  2. Build a website on the domain name designed to target an equally nonsensical search term on different pages. The pages must be structured similarly and have but a single difference between them.

  3. Point links to the domain from other well-spidered domains and wait for the search engines to index your domain completely.

  4. Record how search engines rank these pages.

  5. Make small alterations to the pages and, again, wait for search engines to reflect those changes in their results.

  6. Record which changes caused different pages to rank higher or lower than they originally did.

  7. See if you can duplicate these changes on other pages (perhaps on other test domains as well). If these changes can be duplicated, test them out on a production domain to see if they work there as well. If they do, then you’ve decipher an integral part of the algorithm.

  8. Repeat the process perpetually from step 4.


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