Every now and then, you get to hear it on social media – algorithms, changes made to said algorithms, crackdowns on those cyber savvy individuals who manipulate the algorithms, influencers and bloggers sent into a frenzy over changes in an algorithm……you get the drift. An algorithm is a construct that directs the flow of information in a determined path set by parameters which can be regarded as options. How and to what extent an individual can use them to their benefit using the appropriate tools is where the real money is. Like a strategy game, it is all about making the right moves at the right time. 


Ever heard about WebMaster tools? Well, they are tools to make your content online visible for the people with the resources to keep you, lets say, seen at the forefront of web searches. We all have experience in that aspect whenever we go online to check something out; we pretty much always nearly stick to the first page Google provides with regards to whatever we typed into the search bar. Here’s where the term SEO or Search Engine Optimization comes into play, a system where the quantity and quality of the unpaid traffic to a site from a search engine is improved (keyword here is unpaid, which is an organic, multi channel growth that doesn’t seem forced or fake). In layman’s terms, it means honing into your target without any unnecessary trappings that might delay the work or performance. Suppose you are looking for a startup that deals with the accounting system of SMEs in London, you will be typing “London, accounting, SMEs, startup” into your search bar and voila! You will be presented with some of the options that Google found for you via the words you typed and which have had sizable visitor traffic to their site. Similarly, or we can say the antithesis, is the SEM or Search Engine Marketing where the visibility of the site is boosted through paid traffic. 


Traffic is great, but how do we measure it? Here’s where another term comes into play and that is Google Analytics. Google analytics is a tool that allows a site to learn more about their visitors and provide valuable insights for the site or business to prosper. Google Analytics allows you to measure the traffic to a site using a JavaScript code, sets of data filters and a list of parameters in order to find out more about and track the audience and behaviors of said audience. It can really help a site narrow down the size of the audience or traffic to see which ones will be of value to the site. Remember the SEO system of honing into the target? Here the audience or traffic’s behavior is analyzed and broken into parameters that will provide an idea into their movements and track them. Keep in mind that Google Analytics can see some information about their traffic but won’t be able to track the audience wherever they go online. 

Are there other benefits to using Google Analytics with respect to the previously stated ones? Of course there are, in addition to helping sites and businesses measure and analyze the audience behaviors, it is a free tool provided by Google itself so it  does take a lot of pressure off from the marketing budget of the business/site. Also, it makes data implementation on Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Sites less tedious by reducing the amount of work required to put the findings of the Analytics into the said tools. Reports made with Google Analytics are easily customizable and can be immediately searched for without a problem. When AdWords (a pay-per-click ad platform that allows advertisers to pay to shoot up their names to the top of Google’s search engine list) are used in conjunction with Analytics, it will boost the effectiveness of the AdWords campaign. Analytics also lets the site to track the “digital footprints” or the visited places of the audience within the site, letting the site measure their behavior further. Also, Analytics also helps the site understand the reason behind any loss or reduction of audience. It helps the site to know the demographics of the audience plus which social media platforms to use to better get the target message across. For example, the audience size gained through SEO, Facebook, etc., might not be the size Instagram has currently in terms of insights, so a greater budget can be allocated to the Instagram marketing one. And of course, Analytics allows sites to keep track of their content by viewing the actions of the audience, like for example, has the content been viewed/saved/shared? And Analytics does help a site achieve its goals by tracking how profitable or lucrative the site’s complete package is. 

All the above mentioned tools used are powered by algorithms which can be compared to the autonomous nervous system that binds the central nervous system (the site/business)  to the rest of the body (in this case,the audience). Algorithms are constructed by the various tools we have covered in order to get the best possible result for the audience. Sly tech sleuths try to beat or deceive the algorithms (mostly on social media) by manipulating some sets of data and using it to their advantage, giving the SEM, SEO, WebMasters and Google Analytics a tough time with their hard work. As such, the algorithms and underlying hardware of Google are upgraded constantly to deal with such threats. It is an ongoing silent battle as new strategies are out nearly everyday to beat the Google Algorithm, even on platforms they own like is an ongoing, never ending battle between the algorithm creators and manipulators. So the next time you search for something on google, imagine the thousands of different steps it took to give you the result you wanted. 

All because of a humble algorithm.