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An algorithm is literally a set of rules put in place to problem solve and find a solution. The question being “What does the end user want to see?” When asked this in our coaching or workshops we typically discuss two types of algorithms you might be referring to and might be coming across in your digital marketing or time you spend online. While there are many algorithm rules we will only be looking at a couple.
Search engine algorithms
Keep in mind there are many Google algorithms, pigeon, penguin, panda, hummingbird, et al. and they will probably be different or revised in the near future. The Google algorithm currently impacting businesses the most is the Google Hummingbird, Google Pigeon, and Google Panda. These unique algorithms provide sets of rules that manipulate the search result based off of the quality of sites, your location, ensuring the engine is keeping your search phrase in context - among other criteria. It is typically non-invasive with the criteria. Some of the criteria Google has put in place not impacted by you would be a criteria based on popular sites and responsiveness. If a website is not mobile or devise responsive or has not had any updates made recently they are pushed down in search results while responsive sites are pulled higher in the results. This could have a negative impact on your business ranking if you are not actively updating or making changes to your website.
Social feed algorithms
This is the one we find most people are frustrated over. Its main purpose is to give you what you want to see by scoring posts – it determines who and what is showing up in your feed on the home page. This would be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – Amazon works similar to the social algorithms and we chose to include it in this category; however, they haven’t perfected these rules and criteria quite yet.
So let’s dig a little deeper: First, this algorithm is constantly working, even when you are not in your social account. The current (and ever changing) criteria is:
Whose pages you visit – So the profiles you check out, the places you check in-to, the top social accounts you visit would be the first pulled.
Popularity – what posts in your feed have the most traction.
Content you like, comment, and share – Content type, account holders, etc.
Who’s on your profile page the most.
Who’s liking, sharing, and commenting on your content.
So, that means the annoying cousin of yours who is always social stalking you is going to show up on your feed. To adjust this imperfect system you can “hide” content you do not wish to have pulled to the top of your feed. This allows the algorithm to “learn” and then pull a better result next time. You can also un-follow someone while still being friends - his will remove their posts from you home page feed.
Many people do not like the idea of algorithms and how they try to use formulas to learn our behaviors and desires. At this point, it has been happening for years and the only way you can avoid it is to un-plug from all things digital. We cannot change this system in place, we can only explain it to you in the hopes you better understand it.
Contact us if you have any questions. You can also contact us to schedule your FREE 30 minute consultation!