How Algorithms Work and Determine What We See on the Web
by Shelley Costello on 01/12/21
The first question you might ask is “what is an algorithm?” The dictionary defines an algorithm as “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.”
Wikipedia defines an algorithm as – “In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm (/?æl??r?ð?m/ ( listen)) is a finite sequence of well-defined, computer-implementable instructions, typically to solve a class of problems or to perform a computation.”
An algorithm is a mathematical set of rules specifying how a group of data acts or responds in a digital atmosphere. It’s mathematical and it is science.
I run a digital media agency. I am constantly asked why do people see certain things online while others see different content. I am also confronted with questions concerning how algorithms affect digital marketing efforts, ROI, and visibility.
Pertaining to just social media, not Google or search engines, Social media algorithms are a way of sorting posts in a users’ feed based on relevancy instead of publish time. Social networks prioritize which content a user sees in their feed first by the likelihood that they’ll actually want to see it.
Social media algorithms are always changing, sometimes every day. There’s no way to know every technical detail that goes into every change, but we do know that each social media platform’s algorithm is driven by the usage, data, content, timing, and more. The algorithm is different on every platform and it dictates where you rank in social media content placement, visibility, engagement, and so on.
I guess we could say that regardless of what we do, how much we pay for online efforts in digital media, algorithms dictate everything. There is no getting around the way algorithms work or perform on the Internet.
I have researched this and studied it and this video by Forbes is the best informational source I have found on the subject.
If you are interested in how algorithms work and dictate what happens online you will want to watch this video.
Have you seen your online efforts vary and you think algorithms dictate that activity? I will be here to answer your comments.
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