Google Algorithm Updates – How they Work

Google-algorithmGoogle’s algorithms updates are a complex system that is used to receive data from its search index and promptly deliver the best possible results for a search query. Google uses a combination of algorithms and many ranking factors to deliver webpages ranked by importance on its search engine results pages (SERPs).

Most of these updates are slight that they go unnoticed. Though, sometimes, the search engine rolls out the major algorithmic updates that impact the SERPs significantly such as:

  1. The Hummingbird
  2. Penguin
  3. Page Layout Algorithm
  4. Mobilegeddon
  5. Fred

Google Algorithm’s Ranking Factors

There’s not much known about Google’s algorithm because Google won’t reveal its ranking factors. So, no one’s utterly sure what boxes to tick in order to secure a first-page ranking. That said, here are some of the ranking factors we know about:

Content relevance: Even though you shouldn’t stuff your site with keywords, you should also use relevant keywords and create relevant content around those key terms.

Page speed: Google updates with page speed may affect you if your internet site is slow to load. Slow websites offer a poor user experience.

Link quality: To rank on Google, you must ensure you link to informative, relevant content only.

Website design: Your site should be user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Mobile-friendliness: Google uses mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking, which means “mobile-friendliness” is one of the ranking factors.

HTTPS status: Usually, Google prefers secure sites since they’re more trustworthy. HTTPS is secure than HTTP, so having an SSL certificate might help with ranking.

User engagement: Lastly, Google may affect websites that have high bounce rates and few returning visitors. This might be due to low quality content. Google algorithm boosts the websites that offer the best user experience.

How Often Do Google Algorithm Changes Get Released?

Google makes slight changes to its algorithm on a daily basis. They might also release numerous updates in 24 hours.

These changes are typically small, and you possibly won’t notice a drop in search page rankings due to the updates alone.

However, the same cannot be said for the “core” updates. Google makes these bigger, more extensive changes a few times per year, and they can directly impact your webpage performance.

NB: You can look out for core update at least once or twice a year.

Important Google Algorithm Updates

To help you understand the function of Google algorithm changes, here’s a rundown of some key updates, and the impact they had on page-ranking strategies.

  1. Google Panda – Released in 2011

This algorithm update was targeting bad practices like duplicate content and keyword stuffing. It introduced a “quality score” that ranks pages based on how people would observe the content, rather than how many keywords it had.

  1. Google Penguin – introduced in 2012

This update directly combated “black hat” SEO tactics like link directories and spammy backlinks. Like Panda updates, it looked at keyword stuffing.

  1. Google Hummingbird – Launched in 2013

This update was all about linking the gap between what keywords persons used and the kind of content they wanted to find. In other words, it aimed to improve the search engine experience and move the informative and relevant content to the first page.

Google Algorithm Updates 2021

How to Regulate Which Google Algorithm Update Hit Your site

Have you noticed a decline in traffic? An algorithm update could be responsible. Here are ways to determine which update hit your website and also how to recover from the penalties:

Firstly, check out the Google Search Central (Webmasters). This platform contains manifold resources to help diagnose common performance issues and identify any possible algorithm penalties.

Next, you should log on to Search Console, an analytics tool from Google. Whether you want to find mobile usability glitches or monitor your website’s performance, Search Console has all the resources you need.

Tips to Succeed with Google’s Algorithm

  1. Optimize for Mobile

Optimize your site for mobile if you want to boost your rankings.


  1. Review Your Inbound Links

Check your inbound links if they all work properly, and whether they link to relevant and also up-to-date content? If not, make sure you fix the links and make sure they’re redirecting to useful posts to improve user experience.

3.Decrease your Site Load Time

A slow site with poor loading times hinders the user experience, affecting Google rankings.


  1. Avoid Duplicate Content

Whether it’s a few lines of text or practical blocks of content, duplicate content can attract penalties.



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