About 25,27,00,00,000 results (0.37 seconds)
Ever seen the above statement on SERPs? The above is the time taken to search and present data for the query, ‘Link’ on Google. How do you think this is possible? How does Google process this unimaginably huge amount of data in a fraction of a second? Welcome to Google Algorithms.
Google Algorithms is a network of complex systems that search and present data to answer a query. This data is presented on SERP. Google has over the years upgraded these algorithms through a series of updates which we now call Google Algorithm Updates.
Simply put, they are complex systems of their own that sort through billions of data to find the most relevant and useful answers for the user.
Why Google Algorithms?
Though manually sifting through such data is a near-impossible task, a singular question arises. Why algorithms? Google could have made a unique set-up that would have done this by reiteration. In simple words, this could have been a macro on Excel or similar. Why did Google choose algorithms knowing that they are full of bugs and crash at certain times?
The answer lies within Google’s core values itself. Being a customer-centric company, Google requires regular updates and improvements to its system. This helps it stay abreast of all modern technology instead of relying on a single setup. Over the years, there have been numerous updates to this algorithm and they are only increasing in number and frequency.
The updates made on these algorithms help Google analyse how users respond to various changes and improvements made on SERPs.
List of Major Updates
While there have been many updates over the years, in recent times, the frequency has increased. Out of these, only a few have been notable ones. Many have been just slight cosmetic or minor updates.
- Intrusive Interstitials Update
- EMD (Exact Match Domain)
- Page Layout Algorithm
Regular and Core Updates
While regular updates do not affect SERPs or sites, every now and then Google releases major updates known as Core Updates. These involve a broad and system-wide change to the algorithms. These are announced beforehand to prevent nasty surprises for the users.
As stated on the dev page of Google, some sites might see drops or gains during these updates.
So if you face any indexing issues, or site ranking drops, you should check the latest Google Core Update date before changing anything on your backend. With Google, patience is key. The rank drops will be rectified.
Basic Criteria of Search Algorithms
Google’s algorithms check your content for various criteria. These criteria are entirely based on what is useful for the user. When a user searches for a query, Google uses this information to sort the best possible answers for the query.
Google addresses these in a very fascinating manner. The results are based very intricately on the prediction of how a user might move from one query to another. Also, you need to understand that such predictions arise from years of data analytics and learning that are implemented consistently as regular or core updates.
Here is the list of criteria that Google analyzes when a query is raised.
Meaning of your Query
This brings us to a very interesting topic – User Intent. When a user begins using a search engine for getting information or searching for something, they do not usually start off with the exact term until and unless they know exactly what they want, which is a rare scenario.
So search engines try to understand what the user actually means by using certain words in the query. This practice is called understanding user intent. This helps in providing near accurate results without tiring the user with multiple searches.
Also, this is where Natural Language Processing (NLP) comes in. Google uses this technology to understand languages for what they are. Data from this is used to find answers for future queries.
In this step, the algorithms analyze the relevancy of web pages when searching for the best possible results. This relevancy can be headings, keywords, and metadata that match the query. Mostly, the simplest check that algorithms perform on content is the keywords. If they are relevant to the query, the blog or web page is brought up to the SERP.
Also, various other processes are put into place which yields the closest possible results. These systems make sure that you do not get web pages stuffed with keywords but rather ones that are relevant and help you carry on with your intent.
Well, here’s where Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT) play a huge role here. Content quality is analyzed based on the expertise that the web page or writer holds in the field. This process starts by analyzing simple spelling errors and expands into a full-fledged analysis of your content based on the EAT concept.
This is a technical part of the analysis. Algorithms run your content past various device modeling to analyze whether it is suitable for readers using all kinds of devices to access your content. Pages that pass with flying colors or that are rated by the algorithm as better than others are ranked higher.
Mobile usability is one criterion that is checked in these tests, and it’s increasingly important, as more and more people globally are using phones as opposed to desktop search. Also, page loading speed plays an important role too. The better the page speed, the better it looks to the algorithm.
Content relevance and context matter a lot to search engines. Google’s algorithms go through your location data, search history and search settings to present relevant data to you when you enter a search query.
For example, if you search for a sport, your local teams and matches will be displayed. This data is presented after your location is verified on Google. This also helps filter explicit content.
Although Google does not share information regarding the impact of its updates on the community, they are nevertheless effective in maintaining equality and fair play among site and blog owners.
There have been core updates in 2022 which are still coming. With the amount of information we have given above, you should have an idea of what Google would look for when optimizing its search results for the public. If you haven’t optimized your site for such criteria, it is high time that you start.
May 25, 2022
May 2022 Broad Core Update
This is the latest update released recently and is still under speculation by the internet community. The improvements mentioned are rankings and content analysis. Such Core updates affect all types of content. In case you face any drops in your rank, you should start optimizing your site. It is worth mentioning that this is the first Broad Core Update from Google for this year.
Roll out time: 1 to 2 weeks
Target: All types of content
Launch Date: 25th May 2022
March 23, 2022
March 2022 Product Algorithm Update
This update improves product review rankings which in turn would help Google identify high-quality reviews. You can read here on how to write high-quality reviews optimized for Google and users.
February 22, 2022
February 2022 Page Experience Update
The Page experience update was rolled out to enhance the desktop search experience for users. The enhancements would help in analysing desktop user data and provide a seamless user experience. In case you are a developer, you need to check out this blog for details about these updates.
Google Algorithm Updates, being popular, is gaining momentum in the digital marketing community since most sites are dependent on what Google decides to prioritize when ranking a web page. Some core updates have indeed turned the fate of certain sites and are still doing so. In order to make sure that your practices meet Google’s standards for algorithmic ranking, be ethical and correct, and build authority and trust around your site.
As a step to achieve the above, consider link building as a great way to start. Contact us at LinkDoctor to begin your SEO journey.