Google Algorithm Updates Explained

2nd November 22

Google is a search engine that many people rely on throughout the globe. Google has dominated the global search engine market with a 92.47% market share. This led the California-based company to achieve a market cap of nearly 1.4 billion dollars [1].

google algorithm

What Makes Google So Dominant With Its Search?

User Experience

One of the main things people desire when it comes to searching is getting quick results. They want their results in an instant. It can be challenging to deliver instant results especially if you want them to be relevant. Google focused its entire search engine model on making improvements to the end user's experience. The user experience is easily what makes Google stand out amongst the competition and what keeps people coming back to Google for its search engine queries. This is one of the main reasons you are only presented with a search bar when you visit Google wanted to eliminate any distractions that could take away from the user's experience.


One of the things that Google does better than any other search engine is that they deliver the most relevant search results. If you use other search engines, you quickly realise how many results pop up that aren't entirely relevant to your initial search. Google has been accumulating data for years and years about how people search and perfect their algorithms to deliver the most relevant and accurate results.

What is Google's Algorithm?

The algorithm used by Google ultimately determines the results you get from your respective search query. The algorithm does all of the heavy lifting when it comes to delivering you the results that you are looking for. The algorithm essentially works behind the curtain to crawl all of the sites across the web to effectively rank which web pages are the highest quality and most relevant to your search query. Without Google's proprietary algorithm, your searches wouldn't yield the kind of search engine results that answer your question or that bring you what you were looking for.

keyword research

What Goes Into Google's Algorithm?

This one is tricky. Google, for good reason, makes it very ominous what ranking signals go into the algorithm that makes it so effective. However, Google does make known some of the more important ranking signals. Some of the more important ranking signals include:

High-Quality Content

This is probably one of the most important and weighted ranking signals in Google's algorithm. Google has done a good job throughout its many algorithm updates to ensure that the highest quality websites are the most rewarded with higher rankings. The quality of content is most certainly a determining factor that goes into whether or not the site ranks well. This is why you will want to ensure that you are crafting relevant content concerning quality.


Another major ranking signal that goes into the final rankings would have to be the relevancy of the content. Your content needs to be relevant to whatever is being typed in the query. Google does this in various ways. However, one of them is by using keywords. By using keywords, Google can better distinguish what a piece of content is all about. While this used to be something that you could "game" by keyword stuffing, that's no longer the case. You used to be able to write long-form content that wasn't necessarily all that relevant and stuff a bunch of relevant keywords into the mix. Now, you will get punished by the algorithm for such tactics. You need to craft highly relevant content if you want it to rank well and survive the countless refined algorithm updates that Google pushes out.

Usability Of The Site

Another big thing that Google has emphasised in recent years is whether or not a website is usable. The usability of your site will depend on many factors. One of the more important is how fast your site loads. This is why it's so important to have a responsive website that can effectively scale to different devices. You want your site to be able to load quickly to provide a good end-user experience. The usability of your site is of utmost concern because Google has heavily emphasised it in their countless algorithm updates. They want to ensure that their users are having a good search engine experience. They know that it bothers their users to go to websites that are unoptimised for mobile devices and that are slow to load and navigate. This is also why it's so important to have a mobile-responsive website. Meaning, it scales properly to mobile devices.

Domain History

This is another big component of the overall ranking of your website. Google uses the age of your domain and its history to determine whether or not it's a trustworthy site and worth ranking high. This doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot get your site to rank high if it's not older, but it does mean that it's going to require more work.


Another factor that Google considers in its ranking signals is the total number of backlinks your site has and the quality of those backlinks. Google uses this because higher-quality sites generally have more sites linking back to them. After all, if your website is an authority site, you are going to have a lot of sites that reference what you are posting on your site. This tells Google that your site is worthy of ranking high within the search engines because it's demonstrated authority within your niche. While this used to be something that you could "game" by getting a bunch of low-quality backlinks, that's no longer the case. Google now heavily weighs how quality those backlinks are. Thus, if you have a low of spam sites linking back to your website, it's likely going to do more harm to your ranking than it will help.

What Has Google Focused On With Different Algorithm Updates?

1. Make Searching More Useful

One of the main things that Google is doing whenever they push out any kind of algorithm update is to try to make things more useful for their users. These updates are typically referred to as general or core updates. The intended purpose is to address specific issues with the search engine based on user feedback and behaviour.

2. Make Reviews More Useful

Google noticed that a lot more people are looking to use the search engine to find product and even business reviews. Because of this, they generally look to introduce updates to help make it easier to find quality reviews on the site.

3. Make Local Search More Useful

Another major update to Google search was meant to make local SEO searches increasingly useful. Google wanted to help people conduct more accurate and more helpful hyper-local searches. This is what the Local Search Update accomplished. With this update, it made local results appear above the general results which changed the way people used Google Search for local searches.

4. Machine-Learning Integration

One of the most significant algorithm updates was known as Google RankBrain. RankBrain is essentially a core component of the algorithm which leverages machine learning. It leverages machine learning to learn the most relevant results when someone types in a query. This was a major adjustment coming from pre-RankBrain. Before RankBrain was introduced, Google was only using its basic algorithm without an A.I component attached. Now, with the A.I integration, Google can deliver much higher accuracy with relevant content because it can leverage key information stemming from the original searcher including their precise location, any personalised data about them, and even what the user's intent was with the search.

5. Boosting The Importance Of Quality Content

One of the other major algorithm updates was known as the Panda update. This is a key update that rocked the industry. As mentioned previously, a lot of web owners were using black hat strategies and other techniques to "game" the system. A lot of websites were rewarded for having content no matter how poor quality. This is because Google's algorithm wasn't necessarily smart enough to decipher what was good content and what was bad content. However, this update changes all of that. It enabled Google to punish those creating bad content. This includes content that has been duplicated, content that has been plagiarised, content that was purely low quality, and content that was keyword stuffed.

Why Should You Care?

When it comes to getting your site to rank well within the search engines, you need to focus on what Google's end goal is. Their end goal is to provide the best user experience for their users. When you create content and you craft your content with this goal in mind, you shouldn't have any problem getting your content to rank well. Google's success relies on people using their search engines consistently to find things they are looking for. To that end, Google is constantly striving to make improvements to it. They are doing this to make the user experience better and to deliver the most relevant and highest-quality content possible to their users. This makes their search engines increasingly attractive to users which in turn makes them very attractive to advertisers. Google makes money on advertising. By providing ultra-relevant search results, it can optimise ads just as well. This ensures that Google can charge as much money as possible for their advertising platform.

After all, they not only have the most users using their search engine, but they are using it to make highly profitable buying decisions. This makes it an advertiser's dream site and platform to advertise on. Staying updated with the latest algorithm changes that Google makes is imperative if you want your website to continue to rank as high as possible and not get punished by any of the changes made to the ranking signals.

Here at SEO Solutions, we offer professional SEO to take the guesswork out of getting ranked. If you want your website to rank well and to adhere to all of the important things that Google is looking for, you can get all of that covered and more. SEO Solutions specialises in delivering professional SEO services along with other pertinent services you might need to get your website ranking as high as possible within the search engines. Don't get left in the dark, SEO is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can integrate into your marketing mix. Google is the most widely used search engine on the planet and you want to rank as high as possible for relevant keywords and phrases within your industry/niche.

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