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What are algorithms?

By Mark Austin
Posted Friday, October 22, 2004

Rather than give you the literal definition of algorithms I will explain there definition in relation to search engines.

Search engines tend to use software to review and include web sites. Why? Generally because it would cost too much and take too long using humans to review sites. Algorithms are basically the rules that have been programmed into their software to review your web site. Each search engines has different algorithms which they change on a regular basis. These algorithms are kept secret however it is possible to work out some of the algorithms.

How do you work out the current algorithms?

You perform searches on the search engines looking at the key phrases you are interested in. Visit some of the pages at the top of the results and look at the structure of their pages. They have obviously passed the algorithm tests so you should be able to work out some of the algorithms from the pages they have created.

What do you look out for?

If you use Internet Explorer to surf the internet, go to the VIEW menu and press SOURCE. This will show the source code of the page including meta tags.

1.Firstly look at the meta keywords for that page. You should find the keyword you typed into the search engine. 2.Then look at the title and description. Is that keyword mentioned in the title or description?
3.Then go back to your Internet Explorer browser and check in the body text for that keyword. Pay particular attention to: a) where the keywords are:
i) first few words
ii) beginning of document
iii) end of document or
iv) middle of document.
b) how many times the keyword appears on the page. c) is the keyword part of the domain name for example my domain name is ( and one of my keywords is "webmaster". Now long domain names are available you can even buy domain names with phrases in, such as ( and have a phrase of "webmaster marketing consultancy".

Other common algorithms

Do NOT use frames or flash on your home pages. Do NOT use hundreds of keywords. Use phrases rather than just single words because the majority of people type in two words or more when conducting a search. Make sure the keywords are relevant to that page. Do NOT use the same keywords throughout the site. Do NOT submit your web site more often than once per month. Do NOT submit more than four pages a week to any one search engine. Do NOT make copies of a page then submit all those copies to the same search engine. Do make copies of a page and submit to different search engines. (as search engines have different algorithms you may want to create an optimized copy for each search engine, in other words make slight modifications to the page in order to abide by all the algorithms of that search engine. But make sure you only submit the one copy of that page, rather than submitting all the copies). Do NOT use a free domain or sub domain. Try and get reciprocal links on other sites to your web site. Some search engines are rumored to have algorithms that give a higher position to those linked from other web sites. You could buy another domain name and create a page to the key pages on your web site. Submit this site to the search engines and the robots should follow the URLs to those pages.

Last Tip

It is more than likely that your keywords and phrases are already in the body text. A good way to establish a list of phrases is to print your web pages. Then underline the key phrases on that page. Then include those key phrases in your title, meta description and meta keywords. If you keywords are not mentioned twice or more on your page you have two options:

do NOT include them (well simply because if your keywords are not mentioned often enough in the body text you will not get a high listing for that keyword). adjust the text on your page to include these keywords.

Remember NOT to throw a load of keywords onto one page, there are plenty of other pages on your web site that you can include other keywords. Too many keywords on one page may be penalized and including the same keywords on multiple pages may also be penalized.


After reading all that you are probably thinking "now I know why I just submit my site with a submission tool and hope for the best, I haven't got time for all that algorithm stuff". However remember that page optimization and then search engine submission could save you thousands of dollars or pounds in marketing spend.

About the Author
Mark Austin
Search Engine Submission, Affiliate Programs, Web Site Marketing, Press Release, Free Downloads.


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