Search Algorithms

Search engines have complex search algorithms which are used to ensure they are able to display the most relevant and useful results to their users. While algorithm changes are common and won’t usually affect a site’s ranking, search engines such as Google will occasionally introduce a major update which may impact search results. Our Hangout Notes cover insights from Google around these algorithms with best practice advice.

Google Discover Isn’t Limited to Content From News Sites

July 12, 2019 Source

The Google Discover feed doesn’t just contain articles from news sites. Blog posts and forum entries can also be featured within it.


You Don’t Need to Have AMP to Appear in Google Discover

June 28, 2019 Source

Regular HTML pages can appear in Google Discover, it isn’t limited to showing AMP. However, if you want to show large images for your site in Google Discover you need to go to the Help Center and submit a form.


Google Discover is Based on User Interests Rather than Queries

June 28, 2019 Source

Google Discover isn’t associated with queries as it is based on what Google thinks the user’s interests are, so to show up there you need to focus on topics that interest your users rather than keywords.


The Last Updated Date of a Page Does Not Play a Role in Rankings

June 25, 2019 Source

While useful from a user’s perspective, the last updated date doesn’t impact the crawling, indexing or performance of a page within search results.


HTML & CSS Validity of A Document Are Not Ranking Signals

June 25, 2019 Source

John explained that it doesn’t make sense for algorithms to focus on the validity of a page, especially if the content matches a users needs perfectly.


The Site Diversity Update Won’t Affect How Subdomains Are Crawled

June 11, 2019 Source

The new change that was launched to show more diversity of sites in the search results won’t impact the way subdomains are currently crawled and processed, it will only impact how they are shown in the search results.


Get Feedback From Real Users to Assess Your Site’s EAT

June 11, 2019 Source

John recommends getting feedback from your users about the expertise, authority and trustworthiness of the content on your site to find areas for improvement.


No Need to Optimize Websites Specifically for Quality Raters

June 11, 2019 Source

You don’t need to specifically optimize sites to be accessible for Google Quality Raters because they won’t be reviewing individual sites. The Quality Raters are simply given a list of SERPs with and without an algorithm change, and they then decide which set of results is better.


Create Clear Separation Between Content That Will & Won’t be Filtered by Safe Search

May 31, 2019 Source

John recommends having a clear separation between safe search friendly content and content that would be filtered out by these algorithms to give Google the best chance of distinguishing between the two.


Related Topics

Voice Search Search Queries Rich Snippets Featured Snippets Penalties Search Console PageRank