Google has released a new Webmaster Help video in which head of webspam Matt Cutts discusses the Google algorithm and how it ranks results on a page. More specifically, he responds to the following submitted question:
Does Google use the same algorithm to rank all the results on page 1, or different algorithms for a wider variety in the results? (Pos. 1-3 = primary focus on freshness; Pos. 4-6 = primary focus on back-links; Pos. 7-10 = primary focus on social signals)
"I'm only going to concentrate on the web ranking because that's what I know about, and in general, the rankings are not different for, you know, positions 1-3 and 4-6 and 7-10," Cutts says. "It's the same algorithm that returns lots of different web results - you know, 100 or even 1,000, and then with those, we just sort them in order of what we think the trade-off of relevancy vs. reputation. So we want something that's very relevant, but also as reputable as we can find."
"So it's the same algorithm that generates all of those sorted lists of results, and then that shows up on the first page," he adds. "So for the most part, for web ranking, it's not the case that position number 9 is saved for, you know, things based on backlinks or anything like that. It's the same algorithm that's generating that list of search results."
You may also be interested in this other recent video Cutts did in which he talks about Google's "How Search Works" site.
In another video earlier this week, he noted that they had recorded a new batch of videos, so we should be getting plenty more of them in the near future.