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Understanding Google Algorithm Updates

Dec 18, 2019 | SEO, Web Design

Google is smart. And it is getting a whole lot smarter day by day. This is why you have to choose your keywords very carefully. Apart from that, Google is a pretty fickle beast. The search engine is absolutely imperative to the successful marketing of your web content. But do you truly know how Google algorithms actually work?

The answer is almost certainly going to be a flat no. This is because of the simple reason no one knows how the Google algorithm works – not even the search engine marketing experts who call themselves SEOs.

Google is Constantly Evolving

You should understand that Google is constantly evolving and changing. And most of these changes take place under the hood. After all, Google did not become the #1 search engine on the planet without prioritizing its core user experience. It achieved its commanding position by continuously updating its algorithm to meet its end user’s needs.

The good people at Google HQ believe that it is the best way of delivering great results consistently.  It also has rather an endearing quality of engaging users with its new daily doodles on the main homepage.

The bottom line is that your content needs to be kept up with Google’s all-new algorithm updates. If you don’t update your SEO efforts, you will risk losing valuable space where it counts most. And that is on the main search engine result page (SERP). This has many long term implications — including low lead conversions, lack of potential visitors, and ultimately no paying customers visiting your site.

Let’s see how Google’s latest algorithms work with regard to its most recent updates. This will help you and your company and content to follow suit.

What is the Google Algorithm All About?

Google’s search engine algorithms are responsible for determining the results you see for each search query or term. They work behind the scenes and constantly filter through billions of web pages content, for quality, and relevance. They take into consideration all of the search factors and return results that they consider most relevant to the query.

Many SEO experts believe that there are close to 200 ranking signals that Google considers when it displays its results. Taken together, they include various factors such as domain history, keyword usage, site usability, and many more.

This is why, as a business owner and an online marketer, you must optimize the following:

  • Off-page SEO
  • On-page SEO and
  • Technical SEO

Doing so will definitely make it much easier for your pages to end up in the top ten rankings of the search engine.  This will also make it much easier for your customers to find your content.

Billions of Searches Take Place on Google Every Day

Did you know that well over 3.5 billion searches are made on every single day? This shows that the search engine is by far and large the most popular search engine on the planet. In real terms, this means that an overwhelming majority of your target audience is searching Google for information. That means that you need to be mindful of the high quality information that only you can deliver to them via your website.

Here, you have to make absolutely sure that your content constantly ranks high enough on Google’s  SERPs. This is the best way to get your target audience’s attention. And the easiest way to do this is to strictly adhere to Google’s algorithm and their updates as well.

Let us take a closer look at these algorithms and how they work so that we can also utilize them properly. We will start with the latest and most important ones and work our way backward. This way we will best understand their overall impact and also learn how to extract maximum marketing mileage from them.

Core Update June 2019

Google had released a broad-based  core algorithm update in June 2019. This was a pretty major upgrade and marketers eagerly picked through it to see how it can affect SEO activities.

The analytic results have been very promising so far. In fact, various industries including finance, motoring, retail, and travel have already experienced highly positive effects, since this new update was rolled out. However, assessing the impact of an algorithm update means checking the difference on SEO efforts. If you see significant growth in traffic with regard to your blog or website, you have a winner.

Google and its Diversity Update

Another update was released immediately after the core algorithm. This was known as the Diversity Update. The main purpose of it was to create a much more diverse entry of sites into first page SERP listings. This means that Google will now try to show you no more than two results max from the same domain. This applies to any specific query in the coveted top 10 or 15 results.

How Will It Impact Your SEO Efforts?

It is very important to remember that your high-quality content will always be your very best asset to influence SERPs. The verdict is still not out on this update. And many people have reported both negative and positive impacts on their respective websites. You can ensure that your site remains relevant by sharing accurate, high-quality, and very well-researched content.

Google’s Medic Update

The Google Medic Update was another core algorithm update and it was released last year in August.  It had a huge impact on websites related to the health and wellness industries. In fact, this is why it got its nickname.  However, it was not designed to specifically target these industries. It had a massive impact on the SEO efforts of other sites in other industries as well.

In general, most SEO marketers believed that this update also targeted the usual “quality” issues. These include duplicate or thin content, considerably slower load times, as well as bad user experiences and inaccurate title tags.

Unlike the various other updates on this list, Google was very particular about stating that it is not industry-specific. And this is regardless of its name. All web marketers were advised to concentrate on building great content. If your content is good enough it is possible that with the passage of time it will rise through the rankings, relative to other pages.

How To Optimize your Efforts To Take Best Advantage of This Update

  • Follow the white-hat link building techniques
  • You also have to make sure that all of your technical SEO and off-page SEO pages are completely intact. If there are any underlying issues, you should solve them as soon as possible
  • You must always continue to produce really helpful content
  • It is imperative that you provide real value to your visitors so that they keep coming back again and again

Google just wants to create the very best experience for its users.

Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Update

The Mobile-First Indexing Update was Google’s way of rewarding mobile-friendly websites.

Google issued a press release that described this update in their own words:

“Our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”

This update basically means that the powerful search engine will be populating its index with more mobile versions of dedicated website content.

If you create and diffuse mobile-friendly content your site will definitely perform a whole lot better in terms of mobile search results. However, even slow loading sites will be displayed if they manage to fulfill all the other important parameters.

It is important that you fine-tune your website to ensure that it is capable of taking full advantage of this update. You can do the needful in the following ways:

  • Make sure your technical SEO, as well as off-page SEO activities, continue uninterrupted.
  • There should be no underlying issues (lagging, slow loading, etc. ) that can prevent your search engine optimization marketing strategy
  • You should always continue to produce helpful and relevant content
  • White-hat link building techniques can prove to be very useful as far as this update is concerned

Google’s Snippet Length Increase Update

Google’s Snippet Length Increase Update is famous for one key reason — it increased Google meta description length from the original 155 up to 300 words. The main goal of almost doubling the word count was to provide considerably more useful descriptions of different website pages. In the long run, this update is aimed at Google’s users. Through this update, Google has attempted to better understand how a result might be relevant to a searcher’s query.

However, it is important to understand that Google rolled back the meta description shortly afterward. That is, it reverted back to it its original 155 to 160 words or so — see what I mean when I said they were a fickle bunch!

Adjusting your website to trace advantage of Google Snippet Length Increase Update

  • Since the update was rolled back there is no point in changing the size of your meta description snippets.
  • You must always keep your meta descriptions under the 160 character limit to ensure that they show up on SERPs.

Google Rank Brain

This was one of Google’s most important updates in the past few years. The Rank Brain algorithm boasts of highly advanced AI (artificial intelligence) capabilities. It has machine-learning components that work well  in order to better understand a web user’s intent. It uses this capability to deliver the most relevant as well as accurate, SERP results.

It basically serves to accurately measure exactly how the user will interact with and use the search results. It will then proceed to rank the results based on such user feedback.  In laymen’s terms, this update shows why your search results look so different whenever you try and search for the same information multiple times.

The Rank Brain algorithm is also reputed to identify multiple relevance features. Any site that it ranks for a given question will help to establish very query-specific factors as well as signals.

Google itself promotes the Rank Brain algorithm as one of its most important ranking signals.

Using these Updates to Increase Your Search Engine Optimization Efforts

If you are an online business owner or marketer, you might think that these Google algorithm updates may seem repetitive. After all, they are pretty detailed and certainly require a lot of work. Sometimes you have to relearn the whole SEO system, only to revert back to the old one again.

In this case, you would not be wrong to think that this is too much hard work. Especially because every new update requires you to make changes to your website as well as your SEO efforts. And since you have to redo the process every few months, you will understandably feel both frustrated and overwhelmed.

But here it is very important to understand that Google just wants to create the very best experience for its users. Something absolutely fantastic that will enable it to retain its SCA (sustainable competitive advantage) over its competitors. These algorithmic updates are basically designed to get rid of all the clickbait, low-quality, and sometimes outrightly illegal content. Such content not only fills up search queries but also takes your target market away from your original material.

In short, these algorithms are very good for your business in the long run. Ultimately It is totally up to you with regard to how you can use them to your own advantage.


At the end of the day, it is important to always remember that a Google user needs content and he will search the net for it. In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter to which update is working and which one is not.  But Understanding Google Algorithms and how they work can help you to derive the most benefit for your SEO  marketing strategy.

Nora Kramer Designs, Team 2
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