5 Historical Google Algorithm Updates That Still Impact SEO Today
Google constantly updates its algorithm to improve the relevance and quality of search results for its users. Here are a few historical updates that still impact SEO today.
- Google Page Experience Update: In May 2021, Google announced that it would be rolling out a new update, called the Google Page Experience Update, which would take into account the user experience of a website when ranking it in search results. This update would focus on factors such as load time, interactivity, and visual stability of a website. This update was rolled out in June 2021.
- Core Web Vitals Update: In November 2020, Google announced that it would be incorporating Core Web Vitals, a set of metrics that measure the loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of a website, into its search ranking algorithm. This update was rolled out in May 2021.
- BERT Update: In October 2019, Google announced that it would be updating its algorithm to better understand the context of a user’s search query. This update, called the BERT update, would use natural language processing to understand the intent behind a user’s search query, and return more relevant results.
- Broad Core Algorithm Update: In June 2019, Google announced that it would be rolling out a broad core algorithm update. These updates are not specific to any one particular factor and can affect multiple ranking signals. Google stated that these updates are intended to improve the overall quality of search results.
- Mobile-first indexing: In March 2018, Google announced that it would be rolling out mobile-first indexing. This means that Google would begin to index and rank websites based on their mobile version, rather than their desktop version. This update was intended to improve the search experience for users on mobile devices.
These are just a few examples of recent updates that Google has made to its algorithm. It’s important to note that Google makes hundreds of changes to its algorithm each year, and not all of them are announced publicly. However, by staying up-to-date on the latest updates and best practices, website owners and SEO professionals can help ensure that their sites continue to perform well in search results.
- Google Webmaster Central Blog, “Google Page Experience Update” (2021)
- Google Webmaster Central Blog, “Core Web Vitals” (2020)
- Google Webmaster Central Blog, “BERT: A natural language processing technique that can improve how search understands queries” (2019)
- Google Webmaster Central Blog, “Broad Core Algorithm Update” (2019)
- Google Webmaster Central Blog, “Mobile-first indexing” (2018)
How to Avoid Being Negatively Affected by Google Algorithm Updates:
Here are a few common ways to help avoid being negatively affected by Google algorithm updates:
- Focus on creating high-quality content: Google’s primary goal is to provide its users with the most relevant and useful search results. By creating high-quality content that is informative, engaging, and helpful, you can help ensure that your website is seen as a valuable resource by both Google and your target audience.
- Improve website’s loading speed: As mentioned in the recent Google Page Experience update, website’s loading speed is an important factor in the algorithm. By optimizing images, minifying code, and using a content delivery network (CDN), you can help improve the loading speed of your website and make it more user-friendly.
- Optimize for mobile: With the mobile-first indexing update, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. This includes making sure that your website is responsive, that your images and videos are properly sized, and that your buttons and links are easily clickable on a small screen.
- Use structured data: Structured data, also known as schema markup, is a way to provide additional information about your website to search engines. By using structured data, you can help Google understand the context of your content and make it more likely to show up in search results for relevant queries.
- Keep an eye on your backlinks: Backlinks, or links pointing to your website from other sites, are an important ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. By keeping an eye on your backlinks and removing any that are low-quality or spammy, you can help ensure that your website is seen as a reputable resource by Google.
- Avoiding keyword stuffing and manipulative link-building practices: By focusing on providing value to your audience, rather than trying to game the system, you can help ensure that your website remains in compliance with Google’s guidelines and is less likely to be penalized.
It’s important to note that these are just a few of the many factors that can affect your website’s search engine rankings. By staying up-to-date on the latest best practices and monitoring your website’s performance, you can help ensure that your site continues to perform well in search results.
What Algorithm Updates Will Google Roll Out Next?
It is not possible to know for sure what specific updates Google might be currently working on, as the company does not typically announce updates until they are rolled out. However, based on recent trends and statements from Google, it is likely that the company is focusing on the following areas for potential algorithmic updates:
- User experience: Google has placed a strong emphasis on user experience in recent updates, such as the Google Page Experience Update. It is likely that the company will continue to focus on this area, with a particular emphasis on website loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Google has been incorporating Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in their algorithm for a while now, and it is likely that the company will continue to do so in the future. This can be seen with the BERT update, which used natural language processing to better understand user queries. It is likely that Google will continue to invest in AI and ML to improve search results.
- Mobile-first indexing: Google has been moving towards mobile-first indexing for a while now, and it is likely that the company will continue to do so in the future. It is expected that Google will continue to focus on mobile-first indexing to ensure that users on mobile devices have the best search experience.
- Voice search: With the increasing popularity of smart speakers and virtual assistants, it is likely that Google will continue to focus on improving its voice search capabilities. This may involve incorporating more natural language processing, and understanding the context of the user’s search query.
- Featured snippets: Google has been emphasizing featured snippets in search results, which are brief answers to a user’s query that appear at the top of the search results. It is likely that Google will continue to focus on this area and find ways to improve the quality and relevance of featured snippets.
- User’s Intent: Google has been working on understanding the user’s intent behind a query, this could lead to more personalized and accurate search results. Google will likely continue to focus on understanding the user’s intent to improve search results.
These are just a few areas that Google may be currently working on, but it’s important to keep in mind that Google makes hundreds of changes to its algorithm each year, and not all of them are announced publicly. So it’s always a good idea to stay up to date with the latest SEO trends, best practices and to monitor your website’s performance.
No doubt, keeping up with constant algorithm updates from Google it can be difficult to compete in the SEO game. For this reason, many people invest in pay per lead options which can allow them to avoid the headaches of constant work required on the website to keep up today.
Are Algorithms for Google Different From Bing and Yahoo?
Google, Bing, and Yahoo are all search engines that use algorithms to determine the relevance and quality of websites for a given search query. While all three search engines use similar techniques to determine rankings, there are some key differences between the algorithms used by each.
One of the main differences between the algorithms is the way that they handle backlinks. Backlinks are links from other websites that point to a specific page or website. Google places a heavy emphasis on backlinks in its algorithm and uses them as a way to determine the authority and credibility of a website. Bing and Yahoo also consider backlinks in their algorithms, but they are not as heavily weighted as they are in Google’s algorithm.
Another difference between the algorithms is the way that they handle on-page factors such as keywords and meta tags. Google has been known to place less emphasis on these factors in recent years, while Bing and Yahoo still consider them to be important. This means that websites that optimize their content for specific keywords and use meta tags may perform better in Bing and Yahoo’s search results than they would in Google’s.