Google Algorithm: How it works and what are the key factors?

Waht is Google Algorithm

What is Google algorithm?

Google algorithms are sets of rules that Google uses to rank websites in search results. Google’s comprehensive system takes data from pages and tries to understand what searchers are looking for and ranks pages based on relevance and quality.

Google’s algorithms follow the same basic definition and algorithm rule that we described. Remember the last time you searched for something on Google. Whether you entered “cute cat videos” or “Hotels in California,” the search engine returned millions of results for you to choose from.

But how did it decide which results to show you and in what order? 

Google has a very complex algorithm for providing search results and it changes quite often. And while the company doesn’t disclose the exact algorithm, the SEO Experts realize it by means of certain elements like the ranking factors and the experience they possess. Google claims to update its search algorithm several thousand times a year. In the vast majority of cases, Google’s algorithm updates are too small to notice. But every once in a while, Google introduces a change so fundamental that it disrupts the way we do SEO forever.


Most important Google core algorithm updates

Here’s a list of the most famous algorithm updates over the past decade that has shaped the way Google’s algorithm works:

panda (2011)

Google Panda is a filter targeting poor quality pages, thin content, keyword stuffing, and duplicate content. It was incorporated into the core algorithm in 2016 and is being rolled out regularly.

Penguin (2012)

An important algorithm update that targeted any kind of manipulative (poor, spammy, irrelevant, over-optimized) links.

The Hummingbird (2013)

The Hummingbird update improved the way Google understands and interprets search queries; shift from exact keywords to topics

Pigeons (2014)

Pigeon focused on improving local results in terms of both quality and accuracy.

Mobile Update (2015)

This update is also known as Mobilegeddon in the SEO community. It prioritizes mobile-friendly pages in mobile search results.

RankBrain (2015)

As mentioned earlier, RankBrain is the machine learning component of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm that helps deliver more relevant search results.

Fred (2017)

Fred is an unconfirmed update that appears to target low-quality, ad-centric content that violates Google’s Search Quality Guidelines.

Medic (2018)

A broad update to the core algorithm that significantly affected so-called YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) sites, especially health-related content.

Bert (2019)

Another machine learning algorithm focused on better understanding the context of a search query. It is based on a natural language processing model called BERT.

Each update to the broad core algorithm usually leads to a wide range of speculation and discussion on SEO social media groups and forums.

May 2022 Core Update

Google announced via Twitter the release of a major core update called the May 2022 Core Update. This is part of a series of updates that Google makes throughout the year to the overall ranking process. This update started on May 22, 2022, and was completed on June 9, 2022.