Algorithms – Are the machines out to get us?

January 12, 2022

I read an article the other day that made me realize that the perspective of the world has drastically changed. With technology being developed at such a rapid pace, more and more businesses are relying on analytical data. Information from algorithms are being used to make informed decisions regarding a business’s future and what strategies to pursue.

So, what is an Algorithm?

An algorithm is a series of instructions telling a computer how to transform a set of facts about the world into useful information.

This information is then used by platforms such as Google to make more informed decisions about Search Results, Ad Campaign creation and site rankings. Often, I find clients asking me what the Google Algorithm is, what to expect from it and why it is used. If you take some time and do a little research, you will find that algorithms control much of our daily business lives. From your Social Media traction to your customer’s online behavior, some sort of algorithm and related processes inform our decisions and what we see.

We can take advantage of algorithms to push our narrative in the direction our audience responds to. By monitoring Social and web analytics, we can see what web pages are more attractive, what CTA has garnered the best response and most importantly, where all our social attention is coming from. With the power of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) we can inform Google Search as to what we are about, what we are trying to achieve and how we want to achieve it, by manipulating the algorithm responsible for gathering search results. Our favorite bakery on the street corner is never going to sell their deliciously sweet chocolate cake if no one knows about it…

So how are algorithms used in businesses?

Keeping with the bakery as an example, there are many ways to use the data that algorithms provide to our advantage. If I want to know what my audience thinks of my bakery, how many visits my website has or even who is most likely to be interested in my oddly shaped ginger cookie, algorithms can tell me!

Algorithmic business practices provide the speed and scale to accelerate digital businesses to deliver even greater impact by making use of data analytics, social media spaces and market research.

Bearing all that in mind, these systems will allow my bakery to function at a competitive level, using data points will create an environment of trust and security when I make an informed decision about how to sell my products or service.

Whether it be a social media post, a new ad campaign or why my oddly shaped ginger cookies are so popular, data powered advertising techniques is the difference between a successful business and a stagnating one. Making use of data and analytics generated by algorithms is what many successful companies use as a strategy to get their product or service across to their audience in the digital space. Using optimisation techniques allow us to see the impact and change that comes along with our decisions so that we are better informed and well prepared when the next cookie campaign rolls around.

Written by: Calvin Smit – Digital Strategist


Calvin Smit

Digital Strategist

Calvin has 10 years of experience in IT with a solid background in digital marketing, system integration and web development. He has built brand strategies, marketing campaigns and implemented successful SEO campaigns using Wordpress, Webflow, HTML, CSS and Linux Kernel.

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