Google Algorithm

What is a Google algorithm update? How does it affect the website rankings?

Have you ever thought about how Google provides search results promptly from the abundant information available on the web? Finding what a user needs would be nearly impossible without some help sorting through it, right?

It is Google Algorithms that plays a major role in making it possible. Google ranking systems are designed to do just that: sort through billions of WebPages in their Search index to find the most relevant, useful results in fraction of a second and present them in a way that helps the browser to find what they are looking for. These ranking systems are made up of not one, but a whole series of algorithms.

Google’s algorithm is a complex system used to retrieve data from its search index and instantly deliver the best possible result for a query. In other words, algorithms are applied to rank websites in natural search results in Google. The search engine uses a combination of algorithms and numerous ranking factors to deliver the result.

Google updates algorithms, based on all or a combination of the following factors that can come into play with any single algorithm update.

How it works:

  • understands user search intent
  • evaluates content to determine its search relevancy
  • ranks content that satisfies search criteria
  • presents content on its SERPs

Google has defined an algorithm update as the addition of a new ranking signal to their algorithm. Over the past few years, many of those signals have acquired "dials", which can be turned up and turned down, blurring the lines between subtle changes and true updates.

Majority of the time, these updates do not impact SERP and website owners do not even notice. However, on occasion, the search engine rolls out major algorithm updates, the content on its SERPs may get reshuffled or change dramatically as a consequence. The larger and more impactful algorithm updates can affect a large number of sites in a significant way. Occasionally, Google will preannounce an algorithm change to allow site owners to adjust to meet the new standards. For example, it gives a six-month’s notice ahead of launching its forthcoming page experience update. Google periodically releases official statements that outline recent algorithm changes, particularly when an update causes significant fluctuations in search results, which usually sparks widespread speculation and forum discussion.

When Google makes a change to its algorithm, content that disappears or appears lower on SERPs after an update has presumably been deemed less relevant to the search, less credible, less informative, or less convenient to engage with. Losing visibility on SERPs will, naturally, harms search traffic. On the contrary, sites experiencing an increase in their organic search traffic if their content is deemed higher quality and thus, moved to a higher position on key SERPs or begin to appear in a larger number of SERPs.

Assessment of traffic for about four weeks before and after the update will show the indications about the outcome of the algorithm update on your site. Search traffic is the ultimate indicator of an algorithm's outcomes and ranking changes are the key determinant.  Google has advised on what to consider if you are negatively impacted by a core update in the past. There aren’t specific actions to take to recover, and in fact, a negative rankings impact may not signal anything is wrong with your pages. However, Google has offered a list of questions to consider if your site is hit by a core update. Google did say you can see a bit of recovery between core updates but the biggest change you would see would be after another core update.

Therefore it is important for the web administers to keep an eye on the Google algorithmic updates and constantly adapt to them, whether it is page experience, improving content quality, or removing toxic and spammy links to stay up in ranking.


Related Post