Google‘s algorithms are a set of rules that search engines follow to display the most valid and relevant results to users. Not only are several new algorithms added to Google’s algorithms every year, but they are constantly being updated and changed. For example, hilltop algorithm, one of the oldest algorithms of Google, which was introduced in 2003 and implemented in 2004, is still one of the basic algorithms of Google today, after 19 years. All SEOs should be familiar with it.

In this article, we want to deal with the hilltop algorithm and its impact on SEO in the past and today.

What is the Hilltop Algorithm?

Hilltop algorithm is one of the important algorithms of Google search engine that could have a significant impact on Google search engine results. Although more powerful and advanced algorithms have emerged since then, the concepts of Hilltop algorithm are still used in SEO. The purpose of this algorithm was to identify reputable reference websites and directories that introduced sites related to a specific topic, and Google also gave special value and credibility to these pages, and if a site was approved as a reference site, chances are It had a lot to be in the top rankings of search results.

The Hilltop algorithm operates in line with the PageRank algorithm. So before going into the details of the Hilltop algorithm, let’s say what is PageRank algorithm?

What is the PageRank algorithm?

In short, the PageRank algorithm works by measuring the importance of a page according to the number and quality of links given to that page. Of course, page rank is not the only algorithm used to measure the importance of pages in search engines.

The difference between PageRank algorithm and Hilltop algorithm

As mentioned, Hilltop and PageRank algorithms are algorithms based on external links. But the difference is that the PageRank algorithm scores a page based on all the links on the web to that page; The Hilltop algorithm, on the other hand, only considers links given from a reference or expert page to a page. In other words, the Hilltop algorithm focuses only on reference sites instead of all the links on the web.

Introducing Expert and Authoritative pages

Before getting acquainted with how the Hilltop algorithm works, it is necessary to get acquainted with the definition of the two main concepts in the Google Hilltop algorithm. These two concepts are: Expert pages and Authoritative pages. Expert pages are pages about a specific topic in which there are multiple links to other domains. Authoritative pages are those that are linked to from Expert pages, which is why Google identifies them as valid.

How does the Hilltop algorithm work?

As mentioned, the Hilltop algorithm works in conjunction with the PageRank algorithm to identify valid and specialized pages. In this way, it first identifies the reference pages and then identifies the pages that are linked to from the reference domains and ranks them because of their validity.

The Impact of the Hilltop Algorithm on SEO in the Past

The Hilltop algorithm was introduced in 2003 and implemented in 2004. At that time, the most obvious strategy was for small sites to build links to their site in order to improve their ranking on large and reference sites such as Yahoo, Dmoz, Wikipedia, etc., so that their pages would grow according to the Hilltop algorithm.

Another method used by black hat SEOs to grow a site using the Hilltop algorithm was to create various directories with specific IPs (to hide the main site linking to these directories). This is the PBN method that many SEOs may use. But it is good to know that Google will definitely penalize your site if it finds a connection between the PBN and the site.

Hilltop algorithm in SEO today

The Hilltop algorithm has been out of date for many years, meaning that it does not give specific credibility to sites that are linked to in directories. But this algorithm added an important concept to the world of SEO and it is nothing but page authority. Page credibility is a measure of a page’s importance to Google, and one of the most important factors influencing it is how it links.

Introducing modern SEO techniques in 2022

How to optimize your website for Hilltop algorithm?

As mentioned above, it all comes down to link building! Having a principled link building strategy is one of the most important parts of modern SEO. We suggest that you pay attention to the following points when formulating your external linking strategy:

Find reputable and most importantly relevant sites within the site.

If you want to increase the credibility of your site pages with the help of external linking, you need to gather a list of reputable domains related to your field of work. Linking to domains that have no thematic relevance to your site is worthless to Google, even if they are built on a highly reputable site.

Make natural links.

If all the links you make to your site are in highly reputable domains, it is suspicious and unnatural for Google. So it is better to show links in sites with lower credibility to show that your link building is normal.

Monitor your competitors’ link building.

Competitive analysis is one of the most important tasks of an SEO expert. You can monitor your competitors’ external linking strategy using various tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs. Your competitors may have done links in domains that were hidden from your view. So by analyzing the link building of competing sites, you can find new domains for your link building. Do not forget the thematic connection of the domain with your site.

We suggest you do not miss the article “Comprehensive training to build valuable and free backlinks for SEO“!

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