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What is Google Algorithm all about?

Finding relevant information on the internet is something many of us take for granted. With a plethora of active websites on the internet today, the task of sifting through all these sites to conjure accurate information is a gigantic work. And that’s why search engines like Google deploy complex algorithms or certain mathematical combinations that instruct the search engines to display only those the information that is precise and relevant to your search.

How does it help?

So when you type in a query or request in the search bar, there is a lot of work that happens in the background which you don’t get to see. All you get is an answer to your query in a matter of a few seconds. What happens behind the curtains is this - Google’s algorithm starts scanning web pages with the keywords you type in the search bar and then display only those lists of websites that are relevant to what you are seeking.

How does it work?

It's not just one but a combination of several ranking systems that make for a whole series of algorithms. And these search algorithms rely on several factors like words mentioned in the query, relevance and usability of the pages, the user’s locations, and so on. Each year Google rolls out several algorithm updates but most of these are minor and often go unnoticed by the website owners. But each update brings with a new element that changes the way information is searched and displayed. The first update announced by the search engine giant was “The Panda Update” in 2011. If you glance at the history and timeline of each update that occurred over the years, you will realize there are a clear pattern and purpose to this activity. We all know that Google favors sites that have fresh content while penalizing those displaying plagiarized content and materials. But at the core of every update is a mission to enhance user experience and bring forth the information they need as quickly as possible. It’s as simple as that!

How to keep up with the updates?

As said earlier, the updates have a certain pattern to it. Like for example, the 2011 update was targeting weak and spam content. The consequent update, termed as “the Penguin update” in 2012, was created to push towards quality content.

SEO is complicated. If it was easy, you will have more products and services ranked on top than content-rich pages. Google will always change or tweak its algorithms multiple times throughout the year. It will never be static so that brands can learn its way around it and be able to master it completely. Google focuses on providing you the best experience. When you like the experience, you keep going back to Google, allowing them to monetize through ads. If it did not focus on customer experience and service, it would be like Bing or those search engines that didn’t do that well.

Another point to remember is, Google updates occur in response to technological advancements and customer expectations. It doesn’t introduce these changes to topple your rankings or crash your business. Therefore, make sure to stay abreast of the latest demands and technological trends to be prepared to tackle the next algorithm update.

The latest Update:

Here are the confirmed broad core updates rolled out by Google in the current year:

  • 1. January 2020 Core Update announced on January 13, 2020
  • 2. Featured Snippet De-duping was launched on January 22, 2020
  • 3. May 2020 Core Update was rolled out on May 4, 2020

Google described these core updates as significant, broad changes to the search algorithms and systems which are designed to ensure that only relevant and authoritative content is available to the users.

Unlike other core updates, these broad core updates have contributed to significant SERP fluctuations which is sure to make the webmasters hit the panic button. Having said that, the only way to recover from the impact is to focus on building quality content and improve search quality to rank high and deliver better experience to the users.