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Algorithm Secrets Of Your Favorite Platform Revealed

Have you ever wondered what’s behind the powerful algorithms of popular search engines like Google and social media platforms such as Facebook? What secrets do they use to determine which results show up or who gets content served first?

Like a magician that reveals the secrets to the trick, we will take a run at letting you know what matters to the algorithms in some of your favorite platforms. You might be surprised.

As a reminder, an algorithm is an intricate web of rules that guides how a system operates. By understanding one, we can gain insight into the inner workings, plus give ourselves and our business some insider knowledge about how to take advantage for our own benefit.

To start, let’s explore what an algorithm is and how they work.

What is an algorithm?

Algorithms are kind of like the recipes computers use to do their work.

They might involve math, logic, and data processing tasks, so they can help us make predictions or sort things out for us – think Google search results. Social media sites also rely on algorithms when it comes to sorting feeds and displaying ads.

By understanding how these algorithms operate, we can gain valuable insight into how our favorite online services work and work to use these rules in our favor.

What Are the Algorithms Behind Google?

We’ve all used Google to search for something online, but did you know that it’s actually a complex mix of machine learning and artificial intelligence? It’s true. The simplest website on the internet is actually one of the most complex sites online.

Everything you read says there are over 200 factors at play in their algorithm, but the truth is that there are far more than that. Using at least 5 major algorithms, Google can accurately curate results based on webpage content, relevance, and trustworthiness. Plus they use algorithms to filter out low-quality websites which helps keep the user experience safe from spam or malicious sites. It’s all part of why Google’s “search market share” is roughly 84% of all searches and Bing is about 9%. Clearly, we rely heavily on one giant corporation for most of our searches.

Google uses a complex set of algorithms which include:

1) The Discovery Algorithm

Whether you call them bots, spider bots, etc., Google’s first algorithm to contend with is all about discovering new websites and web pages that will be considered for placing in their precious search results.

Obviously, there has to be a system in place that reviews new content and evaluates it in terms of what represents “good” content, spammy content, and everything in between.

Once the discovery algorithm crawls new pages and sites, these places are placed in the queue for future crawling at a later date.

2) The Crawling Algorithm

Google uses an algorithm to not only discover new URLs but the crawling algorithm is used to better understand the entire web.

If we go with what Google tells us that they only want to serve the best search results possible, then the crawling algorithm is used to help them decide whether or not to crawl the new URLs they’ve discovered.

How the decision is made to crawl or not crawl is still somewhat a mystery, but you can safely guess that things like the website’s domain authority, the number of links going to the URL, etc are factors to consider.

3) The Indexing Algorithm

The next algorithm to consider when we’re trying to rank a website has to do with indexing the URLs that have been discovered and crawled.

This algorithm, by definition, has to be one of the most complex of the three simply because there has to be a decision made at this point: to index (or display) the URL in the search results or not.

One factor that goes into this is the uniqueness of the content. With all the weight loss products on the market today, if you type in “weight loss products”, and start wading through the search results, it’s very feasible that you are going to start getting content that starts to be redundant.

This is where the indexing algorithm comes in. Google has to decide what content is the most unique and non-duplicate. Clearly, the more unique the content, the more likely it is to be indexed.

This can be super frustrating to SEO nerds who spend a lot of time creating what we think is awesome content only to have Google give the dreaded “Crawled but not indexed” note in the Google Search Console. Ugh!

Most of the time, there’s no clear indication why the content wasn’t indexed, but a safe assumption is that it’s just not “good” enough. This means it’s not unique enough for has enough authority, etc.

More frustrating is that in some industries, how much more “unique” or trustworthy can you be. For example, what else can you say about garage doors or roofing that hasn’t been written about before? Therein lies the challenge.

4) The Ranking Algorithm

This algorithm would be the one that actually determines where the URL that has been crawled & indexed should be placed in the search results.

Most people don’t realize that a URL can be crawled but not indexed and crawled and indexed but not ranked.

Now, you’re starting to see why SEO nerds tend to live in the suburbs of insanity.

Each URL is essentially given a score to help determine whether or not to rank it. The factors that drive this score are:

Intention: how well the intention of the initial search query matches the intent of the content on the URL. This is far more than just matching keywords like the old days. This pairing process is about matching the intention of the entire page to the intention of the searcher intention.

Google has gotten much better at understanding the specific meaning behind words, and it’s likely that AI will continue this progress.

Quality: You hear it again and again, but this is about the quality of your content. This is about everything from the correct grammar, readability of the content, how the information is presented and laid out, links, etc.

Usability: This is a very important factor, so if you have a lot of ads, pop-ups, no mobile-friendliness, long page load times, bad core vitals, etc., your site could be de-indexed altogether.

Context: If the search has an intention that can be interpreted as local, Google has gotten more sophisticated about presenting more local results based on a variety of signals like the browser’s device, location, etc- even if the location wasn’t included in the query.


Bert is more than just Ernie’s best buddy on Sesame Street. To Google, BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations From Transformers (We can’t make this stuff up).

Introduced to the world in 2019, BERT is a learning algorithm that is related to natural language processing which helps machines better understand the words typed into the search box.

The idea here is that the better Google understands the words you use in your search, the better it can match the results of this search. Before BERT, Google would all but ignore pronouns used in search, but after the implementation, nearly everything is used as a signal to determine intention.

A common example in SEO circles is the example from New England where the word “cow” means a large striped bass in context to fishing. So, if you type in “How to catch a cow fishing” pre-BERT, you’d get a bunch of moo-cow articles and pictures. Post BERT, you’ll get fishing information.

While the BERT algorithm doesn’t do anything to help or hurt search rankings directly, you can see how improving the understanding of words greatly contributes to the ranking algorithm.

And, this is the big point- there isn’t just one algorithm. There are multiple algorithms at work when you type in words into Google. Each algorithm complements and assists the others to produce the best possible results that Google can give you.

By understanding these algorithms, we can get an idea of how Google values different elements when deciding which web pages to display at the top of search results.

How Google algorithms impact SEO efforts

Getting your website to show up higher in Google’s search engine rankings is a must for businesses, but understanding the algorithms can be tricky. Fortunately by looking into how these complicated calculations work you’ll gain valuable insights into where improvements are necessary and get one step closer to beating out the competition.

Some of the main things to consider when optimizing a website for SEO purposes are:

Page content

Your website’s success starts with its content – and ensuring it is relevant, engaging, and keyword-rich (but not keyword-stuffed) to help Google understand your message. Make sure the text flows naturally while including useful images or videos that enhance their understanding of the topic. Doing so will have a huge impact on how well your pages rank in search engine results!.

An example of high-quality page content is content that is well-written and informative, with relevant images and videos included.


Backlinks are websites with higher authority that link “back” to your website. Quality matters over quantity when it comes to link building. Google values sites that have plenty of backlinks from established and reliable sources which signals to the search engine giant about a website’s relevance and trustworthiness. A smart approach for boosting your site’s visibility is investing time in creating strong links from reputable websites.

User experience

Google knows when a website really delivers for its users. Factors like page speed and mobile-friendliness all go into determining just how ‘user-friendly’ one site is compared to another, so if you’re looking to get higher up in the search results, make sure your user experience hits the mark.


It’s important to understand that Google indexes the mobile version of your site first. That’s because over 60% of all searches are done on smartphones.

To stay competitive in search engine rankings, it’s essential to make sure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive. These days, having a website that isn’t mobile-friendly is like paying to have a website that advertises for your competitors because your potential customers will simply move on to a site that looks good on the phone. 

Google Algorithm Updates And Their Impact

Google is constantly updating the algorithms that power its search engine, with around 500-600 updates made every year, and most of these updates are unannounced. These updates can have a major impact on search results and website rankings, so it’s important to stay on top of them.

In 2022, search engine algorithm updates made a big splash – with the Page Experience Update being particularly impactful. This update focused on making sure people had great experiences when visiting sites in their results, ensuring pages were speedy and mobile-friendly was officially rewarded by Google’s rankings.

In 2021, Google dropped a major update for website owners: The Core Web Vitals Update. It gave webmasters practical tips to make websites faster and smoother so users had a better experience overall.

These are just two of the many updates that Google has released in recent years.

With Google’s ever-changing updates to its algorithm, companies must stay on their toes if they want any hope of maintaining high search rankings. After all, falling in the ranks could mean missing out on lots of valuable organic traffic.

Google trends to expect in 2023 and beyond

Google is always innovating to make the user experience even better, and that won’t stop in 2023. In order to stay on top of their game, businesses should prepare for two key trends: voice search optimization and artificial intelligence.

We’re now using our voices more than ever before when searching online – so websites need appropriate optimizations to keep up with competitors. AI on the other hand can help identify patterns & understand intent which leads to search results that are tailored to each individual user. 

With the introduction of Chat GPT in late November of 2022, this AI tool has exploded in the past two months and is already putting Google on the defensive. Bing has introduced ChatGPT to their search engine. Google will soon follow in order to protect its share of the search market.

These are just two of the trends to keep an eye on as we head further into 2023.

Social media algorithms

Have you ever wondered why some posts get seen by more people than others on social media? The answer is algorithms.

Algorithms are constantly evolving, and they play a huge role in determining how much visibility your content gets. Engagement levels (likes, comments, shares), user interests – the algorithm takes all this into account to decide which posts show up for users.

For businesses looking to reach their target audience with relevant content, be sure you’re creating something engaging that will spark interest from your followers. It’ll increase the likelihood of being seen by as many eyes as possible.

Let’s take a look at a few of the contemporary social media platforms and what really matters, starting with Facebook.

Facebook algorithms

Facebook is all about connecting people with friends and family, so it’s no surprise that their algorithms prioritize content from users over businesses. If you’re looking to get maximum exposure for your posts on the platform, focus on creating engaging content to spark meaningful conversations among users.

What matters now

If you’re looking to up your presence on Facebook and make an impact, creating high-quality, original video content is the way to go.

It’ll help ensure that user behavior reflects positively on your page. In other words, it encourages people to interact with what you post more often. Additionally, making sure that everything from images to videos is relevant and engaging will also play a huge part when it comes to promoting yourself effectively.

Instagram algorithms

Instagram takes the same approach to content curation as Facebook, striving to show users what they’ll find most interesting and captivating. It uses your interactions with posts, likes, comments and so on as clues for which pieces should appear in every user’s timeline.

What matters

Again, creating original video content is key on Instagram. Produce videos that are both engaging and informative, then make sure you’re using high-quality visuals to go along with them

Hashtags will also give your posts a boost. Just remember to pick relevant ones so people can easily find your content. Consider using a hashtag generator to help you decide which are the best to use.

YouTube algorithms

YouTube has a knack for knowing which videos will grab your attention. It looks at all kinds of criteria like how many views, likes, and comments the video gets, as well as how long people watch it to determine what you’ll be seeing on their platform.

What matters

If you want your videos to be successful, it all starts with an engaging title and thumbnail. That’s what will catch your viewers’ attention right away.

Once they’re hooked though, make sure the content is just as interesting to keep them watching – that way more people can find out about it. To spread the word further outside of YouTube itself, give a shout-out on Facebook or Instagram. You’ll get even more traction which means higher visibility in YouTube’s algorithm getting those views up for success.


TikTok goes the extra mile to make sure your content catches on. Their algorithms are tuned into what’s share-worthy, attention-getting, and trending.

It takes likes, comments, and shares as well as how long people view your post for a spin and not forgetting all those hashtags they look out for too.

What matters

Want to make your TikTok videos go viral? Keep these tricks up your sleeve.

Focus on creating content that’s eye-catching, entertaining, and relevant for maximum engagement. Stick to the 15-60 second sweet spot as longer clips run the risk of losing interest. Get ahead by leveraging trending hashtags plus other promotional tools and you’ll be able to get more eyes on it in no time.

Tips to improve your social media content

If you’re struggling to make your content stand out on social media, you’re not alone.

Building an algorithm-busting strategy and crafting captivating posts is no easy feat, but there are simple tools and tactics that can help.

Unlock the secrets of success with a powerful toolbox for boosting post quality – making sure each one stands out from the crowd and captures attention like never before.

Here are our top social media tips to make sure your content is seen. Consider this your ‘To-Do” list!

Understand the algorithms

As we’ve already mentioned, social media platforms each have different algorithms that influence what gets seen and what doesn’t. It’s important to stay up-to-date with any changes and tailor your content accordingly. Take a look again at what we’ve highlighted above and make sure you create content that is curated to that.

Post Consistently

According to Hootsuite, a popular social media posting platform, here are the optimal number of times to post for the following platforms:

  • On Instagram, post between 3-7 times per week.
  • On Facebook, post between 1 and 2 times a day.
  • On Twitter, post between 1 and 5 Tweets a day.
  • On LinkedIn, post between 1 and 5 times a day.

Following these patterns can help make the algorithms work for you.

Get Creative

Use different formats such as videos, infographics, and other visuals to make your content stand out from the rest. With us all consuming so much content these days, it’s important that yours stands out and makes a real impact.

Don’t settle for standard content when there are a variety of tools available to make content that will wow your audience.

Leverage Trends

Keep up with popular trends in your industry and use them to your advantage. You can do this by tailoring content to the latest news stories or creating posts about viral topics that are relevant to what you do. This helps keep your brand top of mind for people looking for information on a certain topic.

Use Hashtags Wisely

Hashtags are an effective tool for getting your content seen, so make sure to use them strategically. Choose relevant, trending, or personalized hashtags that will help people find and engage with your posts in the right way.

Try to avoid using too many hashtags as this can come across as spammy and can also be flagged by some platforms. It’s probably best if you use no more than three hashtags typically per post. There are tools out there that can help you identify some of the best hashtags based on your content such as RiteTag

Video really is king

Videos have quickly become one of the most popular formats for content on social media. People are more likely to watch and engage with video than they are with written content, so make sure you incorporate it into your strategy. It doesn’t need to be complicated either. You can use short videos (up to 60 seconds) that capture people’s attention and leave them wanting more. As we’ve already mentioned, the likes of Instagram and TikTok place great emphasis on video that attracts engagement. Make sure yours is interesting!

Social media algorithms play an important role in what content gets seen, so make sure you’re using the tips above to make sure your content stands out from the crowd and gets seen by more people. With a little bit of effort, you can quickly take your social media strategy to the next level and start creating content that drives engagement.

What social media trends can we expect to see in 2023?

Over the year ahead there are a number of trends that the experts expect to see.

Firstly, short-form content like TikTok and Instagram Reels are likely to keep growing in popularity. Brands should be looking for creative ways they can use these platforms to promote their products or services.

Live streaming is also expected to be a key trend this year, with more people finding comfort in connecting with their audience via real-time engagement and conversation.

The use of influencers is set to continue as brands look for additional ways to engage audiences and gain visibility. Influencer marketing relies on social media algorithms so make sure you’re aware of how these work and how your campaigns might be affected.

Also, personalization will become even more important for businesses as customers increasingly expect tailored experiences when interacting with a brand. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can all be used for personalized marketing messages and campaigns that help to build trust and loyalty with customers.

By staying up-to-date and ahead of the trends, you can ensure that your social media strategy remains successful in 2023.

If You Need Any Help

If you struggle to gain any traction with your social media marketing or any of your digital marketing, feel free to reach out for a free consultation. Just call the staff at Make It Loud at 678.325.4007. We’re happy to help wherever we can.

Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. He is also the Director of SEO. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center and other groups.

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