Google Algorithm Facts and Latest Updates That Every SEO Should Know

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Google’s Ranking Algorithm is being changed/updated almost every day by the developers in Google. Sometimes, those changes are tiny tweaks; some are major changes that seriously shake the SERPs (aka Search Engine Result Page). Google Algorithm Updates, there are many. Different updates, search index changes, and refreshes, everything which happened in 2020, you will find below.

But before we start, let me introduce you to Google’s Algorithm.

What is a Google Ranking Algorithm?

Google’s Ranking Algorithm basically a normal algorithm that follows the same basic definition and rule of an algorithm. Consider the last time you looked for something on Google. Regardless of whether you wrote “trending videos” or “shoe stores in Pennsylvania,” the search engine returned a large number of results for you to look over.

However, how could it choose which results to put in front of you, and in what arrangement? An algorithm.

Google has an exceptionally complex algorithm for serving results based on the search query, and it changes generally much of the time. What’s more, in spite of the fact that the company does not make the exact algorithm open, here are a couple of elements that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt affect a page’s capacity to show up in the outcomes for specific keywords:

  • Keywords used in the page’s title, header tags, and meta description.
  • The number of naturally-occurring, organic links to the page.
  • Performance of the web page on different mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Obviously, these are only a portion of the qualities the Google algorithm investigates while deciding how to convey and rank pages. There are likely handfuls, if not hundreds, of others.

How to Rank for a Keyword Quickly in 11 Steps

How the Google Search Engine Algorithm Works

Is it accurate to say that you are keen on pushing your company’s website to the highest point of the Search Engine Result Page(SERP) for your targeted keywords?

Of course, you are! Who doesn’t want to be at top of a Search Engine Result Page(SERP)?

When it comes to the whole world’s search engine market share, Google is the KING ruling all over.

So, you can see it make a lot more sense to optimize your company’s website for the Google Search Algorithm.

Before we jump into the delicate points of interest of how the Google Search Algorithm functions, here’s a small piece of content from its website that pulls everything together:

These ranking systems are made up of a series of algorithms that analyze what it is you are looking for and what information to return to you. And as we’ve evolved Search to make it more useful, we’ve refined our algorithms to assess your searches and the results in finer detail to make our services work better for you.

In a simpler way, Google runs a business of providing users the relevant information on the Search Engine Results Page based on the search query.

How Google’s Web Crawlers Crawls the Web

In general terms, the Google Search Algorithm can be broken down into small modules of five:

1. Analyzing the Words in the Query

Google makes efforts to comprehend what you are searching for. This is the only pigeon Google has to deliver the relevant results of your query.

Google is able to crack down your intention of what you are searching for with the help of language models, thus knowing that it can look up for the exact thing in its index.

While there is something else entirely to this than meets the eye, Google is unquestionably the search engine leader considering that it returns the relevant results.

Here’s another intriguing piece of content from Google that gives you a smart thought of how much time the organization has put into this piece of the procedure:

For example, our synonym system helps Search know what you mean, even if a word has multiple definitions. This system took over five years to develop and significantly improves results in over 30% of searches across languages.

This proves and shows Google’s dedication in providing the top-quality, most relevant results to its users based on the user’s query.

2. Matching Your Query

Analyzing the words in the query is just the beginning of the search journey, but matching your query in its index is when the real ups and downs start.

Google goes through every webpage that matches the query you just typed into the search engine. It starts by looking at those terms in the index, and search and sort down those websites that are most closely match the information which you are looking for. Here, comes the analyzing part where it looks for every detail such as whether the keyword is the title or headings and how often it is being used on a page.

3. Ranking Those Pages

While searching for a particular query, you don’t care about how many pages of that information are based on your subject matter. All that you care about is getting the right and best information. And that is what Google promises in delivering.

For a quintessential query, you are always going to find tens of millions of websites with that relevant information in regard to that query.

So, to make sure that Google search engine results pages show you the best results, its search algorithms get to work.

Here’s what the Search Engine Leader Google has to say:

These algorithms analyze hundreds of different factors to try to surface the best information the web can offer, from the freshness of the content to the number of times your search terms appear and whether the page has a good user experience. In order to assess trustworthiness and authority on its subject matter, we look for sites that many users seem to value for similar queries. If other prominent websites on the subject link to the page, that’s a good sign the information is high quality.

Definitely, this road leads many people to design and develop spammy websites with an aim to game the search engine. But you can’t beat the one who makes the rules, Google has modified its algorithms for identifying these spammy websites and fighting against them and removing every single spam website that violates the rules of webmaster guidelines.

4. Context: It Matters!

Not everyone is lucky to get the exact information that your friend or colleague got, even both of you searched for the exact keyword.

are a lot of factors, Google looks into before showing any results, such as past search history, search settings, and location – all these factors come into play while generating the result based on your query.

For example, searching for “top cafes” as a consumer in New Delhi will generate different results than the same search for a consumer in Mumbai.

5. Generating and Returning the Best Search Results

This is how Google serve you the results (which is almost done in seconds), it assesses those search terms/keywords as to show you the most helpful and relevant information/results.

The way Google provides you the results based on your query may not be as same as today, its search algorithms are always on the verge of modification to fight against those who violate the webmaster guidelines.

Additional Resources:

More videos:
Webmaster Central Blog:
Webmaster Central:

How Does Google Figure Out Which Elements of a Website Matter the Most?

As the Google algorithm “peruses” a website page, it recommends a pre-appointed numerical incentive to every characteristic it’s looking for on the page. That numerical value of the character is then added to the final result. In this manner, the website page that has the most desired characteristics will ascend to the highest point of the page rankings on the grounds that the algorithm allows it more significance.

These computations by the Google platform are led unbelievably rapidly, and the rankings may vary as web developers control the attributes that add to page rankings over a website, or on a single web page.

In this manner, rankings, as allotted by the Google algorithms, are liquid. A page that positions(ranks) 3rd for a keyword may ascend to first or tumble to tenth as the web content on both it and alternate pages in the search engine results change. For the most part, the best spots are held by organizations that do search engine optimization, or SEO, on their websites.

What is the Google Algorithm for SEO?

As specified already, the Google algorithm partly utilizes keywords to decide page rankings. The most ideal approach to rank for particular keywords is by doing SEO. Search engine optimization basically is an approach to disclose to Google that a website or web page is about a specific subject.

What is SEO? What are the Benefits of SEO for Business Growth?

A long time back, it was ordinary for some websites to “keyword stuff” their web content. Fundamentally, they accepted that the Google algorithm would feel that the more keywords that were composed, the more significant the page ought to be.

When Google understood this, they changed their algorithm to punish websites that stuff their pages with keywords, and also numerous other “Black Hat” SEO practices. Along these lines, you ought to keep away from any strategy that is finished with the point of beating search engines. Despite the fact that they may not see immediately, Google will, in the end, get on what you are attempting to do, and your rankings will endure.

Google Ranking Algorithm Updates 2020

Google is constantly making certain algorithm updates, which causes fluctuations in the rank in the search results. In 2020, we saw several core algorithm updates. Below you will find an up-to-date summary of all the confirmed updates:

December 2020 Core Update  —  December 4, 2020 (Confirmed Update)

A chart of Rank Risk Index - Desktop Version (December 2020)
Rank Risk Index – Desktop Version (December 2020) (Source: RankRanger)

On December 01, the Rank Risk Index began to track an increase in rank fluctuations on both the desktop and mobile. There was a massive spike in SERP volatility on 4 December, these fluctuations were back to normal on December 5th.

On 3rd December, Google had announced a core update. This announcement corresponded with the sudden spike in fluctuations on 4th December. On the same day, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported on industry chatter which was aligned with the updates recorded by the Rank Risk Index.

Indexing Bug, Pt. 2  —  October 12, 2020 (Confirmed Update)

It was claimed by Google that the bulk of the indexing and canonicalization bug had been fixed around October 14. MozCast measured a drop in the indexed pages and the temperature turned out to be 104 degrees Fahrenheit around the 12th of October.

Indexing Bug, Pt. 1  —  September 29, 2020 (Confirmed Update)

It was confirmed by Google that an indexing and canonicalization bug started in early September. MozCast had measured temperatures of 99 degrees Fahrenheit on the 29th & 30th of September and there was a dip in indexed pages on the 23rd and 29th of September.

September 16th, 2020 Update  —  September 16, 2020 (Unconfirmed Update)

A chart of Rank Risk Index for September 16th, 2020 Update
Rank Risk Index – Desktop Version (September 2020) (Source: RankRanger)

On September 15th, the Rank Risk Index reported a hike of rank fluctuations on both desktop and mobile versions. The fluctuations peaked on September 16th reaching a risk point of 104. The fluctuations rapidly reduced from that point, reaching normal levels on September 21st.

On September 17th, Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable reported on industry chatter.

Unnamed Update  —  August 15, 2020 (Unconfirmed Update)

Rank tracking tools and webmaster chatter suggested a significant update, with MozCast measuring 101°F, but no update was confirmed by Google. Some industry experts suggested the changes were taken back the next day and may have been temporary.

Google Glitch  —  August 10, 2020 (Confirmed Update)

There were massive rank changes for a few hours on August 10th, which eventually disappeared. A Glitch was confirmed by Google in the indexing system.

May 2020 Core Update  —  May 4, 2020 (Confirmed Update)

There was an announcement via Twitter by Liaison Danny Sullivan that Google would be releasing a broad core algorithm update, which was the second algorithm update of the year. The bulk of the release spanned just two days with the initial roll-out being tempered. As per the Rank Risk Index, the second day of the update’s roll-out produced far more rank volatility than the first day of the update.  

After almost 90 minutes, he announced the update was underway and would take approximately 1-2 weeks.

COVID-19 Pandemic  —  March 11, 2020 (Unconfirmed Update)

While not an algorithm update, per se, COVID-19 dramatically shifted consumer search behavior. The WHO pandemic declaration on March 11th seemed to be a pivotal turning point. In March on MozCast, 16 out of 31 days topped 90°F, and rankings were in high flux well into April and May.

Featured Snippet De-duping  —  January 22, 2020 (Confirmed Update)

Screenshot image of a twitter reply from Danny Sullivan regarding Featured snippet de-duping update on January 23, 2020.

There was an announcement made by Google that the URLs in the Featured Snippets would no longer be appearing as traditional organic results, which are in Google’s philosophy that a Featured Snippet is promoted organic results. There was a final implication for rank tracking and organic CTR.

January 2020 Core Update  —  January 13, 2020 (Confirmed Update)

A chart of Rank Risk Index for January 13th, 2020 Update
Rank Risk Index – Desktop Version (January 2020) (Source: RankRanger)

There was another update by Google about the Medic core update in August 2018. The MozCast was showing heavy flux for approximately three days with a high temperature of 97 degrees Fahrenheit.

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