What is an algorithm and how it works?

These days it has been something normal for us to go about our daily lives with the use of technology especially the internet. We open our phones, tablets, and computers in order to do a lot of modern things. Even our work-related activities may end up being centered on the use of computers. Another thing that happened with computers and our daily lives would be the process of finding pieces of information on the net. Basically, when we’re curious about something or maybe we need something to learn, then we would go on a search engine, and then we type in something that could end up bringing out links and sites that would most likely contain the information we are looking for. This has made our lives a lot easier compared to before when we had to go and flip through pages of a book in order to find the information we need. Anyways, a thing like searching on the net is only possible due to something called “algorithms”. Now, what is an algorithm?

The term may sound foreign to some while others would equate it to something complicated, but truthfully, an algorithm is not that complicated in terms of figuring out what it is in essence. To put it in simple terms, you can think of an algorithm like some sort of set of instructions that one must follow in order to bring out an output or result. These instructions are what a machine or computer follows in order to do tasks like bringing about the results of a search page. We could actually liken this to a flowchart.

Algorithms Flowchart

What is an example of an algorithm?

Now, how does this algorithm actually work in searching for information? Well, when we input words into the search bar, it takes that as the input, and then it would scour the vast net in order to search sites with those keywords along with considering the statistics of the sites like the number of visits and so on. Those that excel in the criteria set by the search engine would then be put up higher in the list as it would be showcased on the front pages of your search. This is exactly how a list of Google ranking algorithm works. To make it easier on you, let’s give you a picture of what is an example of an algorithm.

Google Ranking Example of Algorithm

As you can see above, we typed in the keywords “apple pie”. It gave us a list of sites with those keywords along with considering the criteria mentioned earlier. It then ranked it to what the engine thinks would be most helpful to you. This list is basically an example of an algorithm at work and what it can result in. All lists of a Google ranking algorithm or any search engine’s ranking algorithm are basically done this way.

In short, an algorithm isn’t something too complicated at all. It is a logical set of instructions that would bring about an outcome. Search engines use algorithms in order to bring you information about sites that you might need based on your keywords when searching. That is basically the essence of algorithms, and I hoped you enjoy it. Thank you for reading!