Definition of Algorithm :
A formula used by computers, technolgies or companies to manipulate and display information. Search engines use Algorithms to construct the search engine results. As an example, Google Hummingbird search engine algorithm update in 2013, directly impacted on how search engine results were served. On the sidelines of the algorithms development, the search engine optimization processes aim to understand, use and control precisely results given by search engines on various keywords queries.
Algorithm in depth :
When the term algorithm is used in math, it typically refers to a set of steps used to solve a mathematical computation. A step by step procedure is used in long division. A simple question like 73 divided by 3 would have the following algorithm:
How many times does 3 go into 7?
The answer is 2
How many are left over? 1
Put the 1(ten) in front of the 3.
How many times does 3 go into 13?
The answer is 4 with a remainder of one.
And of course the answer becomes 24 with a remainder of 1.
The step by step procedure used to do the long division computation is considered a long division algorithm.
Examples: FOIL is another example of an algorithm used in algebra. The steps in FOIL are: First outside, inside last. This algorithm is useful for multiplying polynomials. BEDMAS is another useful set of steps and is also considered a formula. BEDMAS: Brackets, Exponents, Division, Multiplication, Addition and Subtraction. This refers to an order of operations.
Algorithms are about finding efficient ways to do math. A colleague and friend of mine used to always say that ‘mathematicians’ are lazy so they are always looking for short cuts.
Algorithms according to Google :
(Source : Google inside search)
You want the answer, not trillions of webpages. Algorithms are computer programs that look for clues to give you back exactly what you want.
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For a typical query, there are thousands, if not millions, of webpages with helpful information. Algorithms are the computer processes and formulas that take your questions and turn them into answers. Today Google’s algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to guess what you might really be looking for. These signals include things like the terms on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank.
Google algorithms and search projects
There are many components to the search process and the results page, and we’re constantly updating our technologies and systems to deliver better results. Many of these changes involve exciting new innovations, such as the Knowledge Graph or Google Instant. There are other important systems that we constantly tune and refine. This list of projects provides a glimpse into the many different aspects of search.
Displays immediate answers and information for things such as the weather, sports scores and quick facts.
Predicts what you might be searching for. This includes understanding terms with more than one meaning.
Finds results out of millions of books, including previews and text, from libraries and publishers worldwide.
Shows the latest news and information. This includes gathering timely results when you’re searching specific dates.
Displays immediate results as you type.
Shows you image-based results with thumbnails so you can decide which page to visit from just a glance.
Uses systems for collecting and storing documents on the web.
Provides results based on a database of real world people, places, things, and the connections between them.
Includes improvements designed specifically for mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones.
Includes results from online newspapers and blogs from around the world.
Gets to the deeper meaning of the words you type.
Provides features like “Advanced Search,” related searches, and other search tools, all of which help you fine-tune your search.
Reduces the amount of adult web pages, images, and videos in your results.
Creates new ways to search, including “search by image” and “voice search.”
Site & Page Quality
Uses a set of signals to determine how trustworthy, reputable, or authoritative a source is. (One of these signals is PageRank, one of Google’s first algorithms, which looks at links between pages to determine their relevance.)
Shows small previews of information, such as a page’s title and short descriptive text, about each search result.
Identifies and corrects possible spelling errors and provides alternatives.
Recognizes words with similar meanings.
Translation and Internationalization
Tailors results based on your language and country.
Blends relevant content, such as images, news, maps, videos, and your personal content, into a single unified search results page.
Provides more relevant results based on geographic region, Web History, and other factors.
Shows video-based results with thumbnails so you can quickly decide which video to watch.
- The Mathematics of Algorithm Design (Jon Kleinberg Cornell University, Ithaca NY USA).
- Algorithmic Mathematics (Leonard Soicher & Franco Vivaldi)
- Understand Machine Learning Algorithms (Jason Brownlee)
- Google’s Algorithm with Pretty Charts & Math Stuff (Rand Fishkin)