For decades, there have been calls for Google to be more transparent about how their search algorithm works. While it’d be essentially impossible to share because it’s so wildly complex, even if sharing was possible it might still be a bad idea.
In a recent Twitter poll, search engine experts were asked about the impact if Google were to be 100% transparent about its ranking factors, and the result was that it would be decidedly worse.
What I find particularly interesting is who voted in that poll. While we don’t have specifics, these are generally people that work all day long to try to find ways to help their clients rank higher on Google. If anyone, you’d think that they’d want to know the secrets. However, there are two big reasons they don’t:
- It might put them out of a job. Working to suss out the details of the Google algorithm is hard work, and that work would be meaningless if Google just laid it all out.
- More importantly, spammers would abuse it very heavily and it quickly would become overrun with garbage.
I’m always in favor of transparency when possible, but I think Google keeping their algorithm fairly close to the chest is a good thing for all of us.