Understanding Google’s SMITH Algorithm

Google’s Latest SMITH Algorithm – What We Know So Far

SEO SpecialistsThe infamous ALGORITHM. An algorithm is just a set of rules that a program or calculation follows. But when someone says “THE Algorithm”, it’s the Google algorithm most people think of. The latest update is the SMITH Algorithm. Google’s search algorithm is a mysterious set of rules that decide which sites to display on the coveted first page of Google’s search results. This algorithm is always changing. But the more we learn about it, the more effectively we can use it to our advantage. Here’s what we know so far about the latest SMITH algorithm.

What is the goal of Google’s algorithm?

In essence, as far as anyone can tell, Google’s goal for search is to provide the most relevant content possible. In a perfect world, this relevance would be judged by humans themselves. However, with billions of websites online, this would be an impossible task. Search algorithms are designed to leverage real human interaction and draw conclusions about the relevance of a site by analyzing different metrics. Based on these metrics and other factors, the algorithm calculates what would be the most relevant pages for a given search term or keyword. The exact, specific details of this calculation are only held by Google. We only know what information they reveal and what we can interpret on our own through testing and experimentation.

What algorithm does Google use?

Google doesn’t say exactly what they are using and how they are using it, but they do give us hints. If we knew exactly what it was, we may be able to “beat the system” and outrank the competition. Unfortunately, once everyone caught onto this, they’d all be doing it. The whole point of organic search results would be compromised; it would just be a race to the top. Google is constantly evolving their algorithms to understand language and web content in a more and more human way and deliver search results that people actually want to see.

What DO we know?

The latest update to Google’s algorithm is called SMITH. We don’t know a whole lot about it so far, but it seems like it is picking up where BERT left off. The last update was called BERT and it was not so much an algorithm itself as it was an ingredient or tool to the existing algorithm. The purpose of BERT was to increase “natural language understanding”. This means that instead of relying on specific keywords, Google’s algorithm can actually interpret the meaning and intent of the words.

So, if lingo or wordplay is used, the algorithm could detect their meaning and serve up search results that apply to the meaning of a keyword, not just the actual text. For content writers, this is great news. If Google is able to understand clever and more subtle language use, you won’t have to go out of your way to “please the algorithm” with your content. You can write more naturally and have more fun with your language without worrying about Google’s judgment as much.

The SMITH algorithm

SMITH takes the next step in understanding language. BERT increased the understanding of individual words, but SMITH can interpret entires passages. Basically, if BERT was for words, SMITH is for sentences. This opens up huge possibilities and takes the understanding gained by BERT to the next level. This means that SMITH will excel at interpreting long documents when compared to BERT. The longer the document, the more SMITH outperforms.

While Google has not officially announced that it is using SMITH, it makes sense they would add it to BERT to help understand large pages online. Until that time, we can only speculate. But if SMITH is beating BERT in testing, it would be surprising if Google didn’t add it to their algorithm. This could mean a big leap in Google’s ability to understand the content. If your website writes great content already, this could be good news for you. If your content is weak, however, you might want to consider improving.


SMITH algorithmThe AD Leaf Marketing Firm has a team of SEO experts who stay on top of Google’s algorithm. If your business’ website is struggling to get traffic, contact us to find out how we can help you!