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Algorithm: Meaning, examples and how to use it

Although the precept is similar to that of mathematics, a technological algorithm performs automated actions by receiving input values and producing output values. A clear example of this is the Google algorithm.

Algorithms are part of our daily lives.

Even if you don't know it, they are present in some of the most famous tools on the internet.

This includes social media, search engines, video and music platforms, and more.

But, after all, why are they important?

Well, when we think about marketing, understanding how it works is essential.

That's because its study allows you to find advantages to improve the performance of your web campaigns.

In other words, knowing their secrets is a competitive differentiator.

When we discover them, we design more efficient and optimized strategies, which brings us closer to better results.

And who doesn't want that for their company, brand or project?

If you want to know what they are and how to use algorithms in favor of your online actions, you have come to the right place.

What is an algorithm on the internet?

In its original concept, an algorithm is a sequence of rules that aim to solve problems.

That is, they are schematic steps that perform a task.

In mathematics, they are used as an alternative way to perform calculations.

However, when we transferred the concept to information technology, it was re-signified.

Although the precept is similar, a technological algorithm performs automated actions by receiving input values ​​and producing output values.

To facilitate understanding, let's use an example with a tool that we use in our daily lives: Google, whose algorithm is called Googlebot.

Therefore, we will consider that the mathematical equations that compose it are robots.

When a user performs a search, they spring into action.

They scan the internet in search of the page that best answers the internet user's question.

Then it scans the internet again to find the second best page.

The same for the third and so on.

Thus, Google ranking is created.

Of course, all these processes happen in the blink of an eye, so we don't realize how many actions are being carried out.

Now you ask me: but how do robots decide which page is the best?

Well, that's where the bot criteria come in: the ranking factors.

There are more than 200 of them, not all of them are known, so it is worth mentioning just a few of the most important ones.

The first is the occurrence of the keyword.

When bots identify a match between the search term and keywords in the title, subtitles, tags, meta tags, description and throughout a text, they assign a certain score.

Similarly, when they identify that there is a good quantity and quality of external links pointing to the page, it earns some points.

When they realize that users who enter a page and spend time proportional to the size of the content and continue browsing within the domain, they add a few more numbers to the scoreboard.

You see, here, I have just mentioned three of them.

There are many others like page load speed, responsive design, sitemap, page age, and a host of other white hat strategies.

These are, therefore, some of the best-known SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques.

Now, also realize that robots are intelligent.

That means they are adaptable.

They identify new pages and automatically index them to the search, collecting daily data that raise or lower their positioning in search results, pages known as SERPs (Searching Engine Result Pages).

All this information is stored in a large database that is fed back every day.

Very interesting, isn't it?

I know, it sounds quite complex, and each platform has its own algorithm.

But this is exactly how it becomes possible to evaluate these equations based on metrics and find gaps to stand out in the digital environment.

How important are algorithms to your digital marketing strategy?

They are essential to fulfilling campaign objectives.

For example, if your goal is to generate organic (or free) traffic, you should invest in search engine optimization.

After all, they are responsible for a considerable portion of the clicks on the internet and a natural way for strangers to discover the pages of your website.

However, if you want to increase brand awareness and elevate your branding, social media is a great option.

Knowing the algorithm of the chosen interaction platform will make your posts have greater engagement, reach and a positive image in the user's perception.

In addition, of course, to increase your number of followers.

These are competitive differentiators.

When you invest in understanding the algorithm, the indicators of your online marketing actions tend to grow.

Importance of algorithms in computing

You have already seen so far how algorithms are present in your daily life and how they are important for your digital marketing strategy.

But, of course, they are also very relevant in programming.

After all, it is from computing that the algorithms move on to other areas of use.

First, we need to understand how a programming language works.

It is basically a set of “words” that make the machine work – computer, cell phone or whatever.

Then, the language communicates to the object the way it should perform its usual tasks – such as turning on, off, opening a browser, playing music, among others.

Each of these functions needs some sort of command. And in computing, algorithms give the order.

If we are going to understand the algorithms in a more visual or graphic way, we can imagine them as a big flowchart.

Thus, they signal which and how the operations must be performed by the machine, through a complex programming language.

Examples of algorithms

There is not just one type of algorithm in digital marketing.

Each system and each company will develop it according to their command needs.

So, there are many algorithm formats, which serve different systems.

Some of the most famous examples in this universe are those developed and used by the following companies:

  • Google (Googlebot)

  • Facebook (EdgeRank)

  • twitter

  • Instagram

  • YouTube

  • LinkedIn

  • Spotify

  • TikTok.

Did you know that even a cake recipe can be considered an algorithm?

Instruction manuals, math functions, and any other logical sequence of reasoning that leads to an action are examples of algorithms.

What are the main benefits of using an algorithm to your advantage?

There are many benefits generated by understanding how algorithms work.

Imagine, for example, that you invest in inbound marketing activities.

In this tactic, complete strangers are expected to become customers through a tool known as a sales funnel.

Now, ask yourself a question: how can people who don't even know your site end up on your pages?

There are two possible answers to it: through paid advertising (or sponsored links) or organically.

In the second case, you will need to rely on the help of digital tools, and algorithms are the main ones.

Thus, you can attract visitors to your pages, where other methods are used to convince them to become leads, establish a lasting relationship and, finally, make an offer.

In short, understanding the algorithm means understanding how the user's mind works and adapting to their preferences.

Therefore, many experts defend the theory that search engines are the mechanical representation of the internet user's thinking.

It is this same tool that makes suggestions for new content on channels such as YouTube, for example.

By interpreting them, we can develop new actions that multiply your gains from marketing investments.

The following are some of the main benefits acquired.

forecast trends

Knowledge of algorithms allows you to be one step ahead in the planning stage.

This means that it is possible to predict trends and position yourself even before updates occur.

That's right: these mechanisms undergo constant updates.

For example, some time ago, Google renewed its algorithm, giving greater importance to pages that adapt to different types of screen.

Those who had previously optimized blog or website pages gained several ranking points and saw their performance indices increase.


We can say that an algorithm is a content mediator.

After all, it decides what the user will see.

This tool collects data all the time.

As you browse Facebook, identify who are the users and types of posts you interact with the most.

Thus, its main objective is to deliver quality publications that suit your interest.

This generates some controversy, such as when Mark Zuckerberg's platform was accused of selling user data.

However, it is also an opportunity to create connections between brands and people.


Algorithms are automatic tools.

Imagine how much work it would be if there were a team dedicated to the manual evaluation of each search performed by the millions of Internet users around the globe.

Complicated, isn't it?

On the one hand, this makes intelligence actions difficult.

But, on the other hand, it allows us to understand its functioning by identifying patterns of behavior of the mechanism.

In this way, we can design marketing actions that work on autopilot.

This is very common, for example, in virtual stores, which use robotic tools to create URLs that fit the user's search intent.


As said, algorithms are adaptive tools.

That is, upon reading the user's behavior, they are readjusted to better serve them.

Obviously, this represents a whole new range of opportunities for marketers.

A top page of Google won't be there forever.

As soon

Content-based recommendation

Remember that algorithms are user experience driven.

That is, they make personalized recommendations according to each one's online behavior. as the engine identifies another, higher quality webpage, it gains its position.

Similarly, their relationships on social media change over time.

Thanks to this, we have the chance to explore this feature and evolve our marketing strategies.

Content-based recommendation

Remember that algorithms are user experience driven.

That is, they make personalized recommendations according to each one's online behavior.

Recommendation based on collaboration

As you browse a website, be it a blog, social network or e-commerce, algorithms gather information.

This means that your contributions have a direct impact on the results and publications that will be shown to you.

Transfer that to the massive mass of people using the web simultaneously and we have recommendations based on their activities.


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