*sort by* **best** latest

### Zazuzu says

it is essentially a list of well defined instructions to do something, typically to calculate a function.

For example, google has an algorithm for ranking pages when you search. The algorithm takes in data such as links into and out of webpages, keywords, url, and a variety of other information and spits out a list of results.

### vashal says

An algorithm is basically a formula (mathematical or otherwise,) and usually quite complex. An algorithm considers a number of known variables in order to solve for an unknown variable. The "related questions" and "related hubs" boxes on the right of the screen here are generated by algorithms. They scan the question and answers for key words, and consider what hub the question was posted on, if any, as well as what category that hub is in. Then it compares that information to a list of other questions and tries to determine which are the most relevant.