Google Algorithm: What are they?
Google search algorithm is a complex system that allows Google to find, rank, and return the most relevant pages for a certain search query.
The whole ranking system consists of multiple algorithms that consider various factors such
as quality, relevance, or usability of the page.
Google's algorithm does the work for marketers like me by searching out Web pages and content that contains the keywords the user uses to search on Google, then assigning a rank to each page based on certain factors.
Ranking factors: Content and User Experience
There are multiple ranking factors that contribute to your position on the SERP, but some of the most important factors are listed below:
"Content is the king". Your website will rank if the content provided by you is relevant and focused on answering the users search intent.
Optimise your content according to the user's requirements. You can understand what the users want through Google Search Console queries, Google has been pushing search results into the realm of natural conversation, and a huge component of its strategy has been categorized under the umbrella of semantic search.
Content length is another factor that drives your position on top. However, there is no fixed rule as to how long the article will be. We can always create articles that reduces the bounce rate and fulfill the search queries. While doing this, semantic search results could be of huge importance.
I follow the golden principle of "Be the user you are marketing to" before I curate or optimise your landing pages or blogs. You cannot measure the impact of UX as it depends upon the industry, but it's safe to say that if your website is good and easy to use,then you will rank better.
Google search console is the perfect tool to measure the impact of UX on website. Core web vitals section of GC can help you understand whether the user experience is good on mobiles and desktops. You can always optimize accordingly.
Few important Google Algorithm updates in the last decade:
Google has over the year launched a lot of new updates over the year. But, the following are among the notable ones.
Google Pirates: (August 2012)
Google's fight to protect content and websites from copyright infringements. All websites that copied content from other websites were fined and some of them blacklisted for blackhat SEO tactics.
Google Hummingbird : (August 2013)
"Long tail keywords", these are keywords that users generally use when they are closer to a conversion. If you are following a Customer's journey, Long tail keywords become an important tool for conversions.
The "Hummingbird" update was the first major update to Google's search algorithm since the 2010 "Caffeine" search architecture upgrade, but even that was limited primarily to improving the indexing of information rather than sorting through information.
This update helps users get personalized experience after their search on Google. Hence, this was a very important Algorithm update to improve customer experience.
Mobile-friendly update: - (April 2015)
The future of search is "mobile", this update ensured websites improved the "mobile surfing experience". Till date, it's one of the iconic updates by Google, as more than 70% of Google search happens through mobile.
According to Statista, mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 54.8 percent of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50 percent mark since the beginning of 2017.
Google RankBrain: - (October 2015)
"Machine learning" to understand User's search intent, this update carried on the good work done by Hummingbird update and basically helps Google understand the search query. The following article will give you an indepth understanding of this update: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-algorithm-history/rankbrain/
Google update in 2021:
Google came forward with it's web page title update, where they:
Announced that it will no longer generate titles based on the query.
Instead, “our new system is producing titles that work better for documents overall, to describe what they are about, regardless of the particular query.
It also mentioned placing particular importance on what a visitor can visually see on the page.
Reinforced that this is not entirely new
Google has been using more than the HTML title tag to generate titles since 2012—since some pages have tags that are very long, keyword-stuffed, or no tags at all.
Reassured us that creating good HTML tags is still important.
Google stated that the HTM title is “still by far the most likely used, more than 80% of the time.” And that they will soon be updating their help page on the topic to reflect the change.
The work of a SEO marketer never ends, mainly due to the Google's objective of providing the most relevant results to the users. As a SEO enthusiast, this aspect of pull and push makes the job fascinating as you can prepare for what Google might do next, but you can never sure.
Some important sources:
3. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-algorithm-history/rankbrain/#close 4. https://www.groupbuyseotools.net/what-is-google-algorithm/