How does changing a search algorithm affect results?

For the majority of us, online search engines are the first place we turn when we’re searching for information. We trust them to provide us with the most relevant results, but those results are not always consistent.

The reason for the inconsistency is the frequent evolution of the search algorithms employed by each search engine. Each search engine uses a unique algorithm that takes certain factors into account. So, how do Google and Bing’s algorithms compare?

Google

Google’s search algorithm has seen some big changes recently. One of the most drastic of those changes is the suppression of results that are coming from content farms.

Content farms are companies that employ a large number of writers whose job is to produce lots of content that is designed to satisfy search algorithms without much actual or factual content. The main goal of these companies is to generate ad revenue by gaining more page views.

Google’s hope is to place higher quality websites at the top of search results. Google’s new algorithm uses advances in computer intelligence, such as mimicking human understanding, and it could help produce more relevant results. Google is also using Twitter postings to focus on real-time results.

Bing

Bing came onto the scene calling itself the “decision engine.” It was a play on the idea that most search engines give you results that you aren’t looking for, while Bing knows what you’re looking for and finds it.

Bing is more of a social search engine than most. It takes into account what sites were shared or “liked” by your friends on social networks and shows you those results, which are often most relevant.

Using two different search engines can yield different results. All results should be somewhat relevant, the specific results just depend on what the search engine’s algorithm accounts for.

If you’re interested in learning more about the changes to Google’s search algorithm, take a look at this New York Times article.