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.

Social Media Likes Are Not Used by Google as a Ranking Signal

November 1, 2019 Source

Google doesn’t use social signals, such as Facebook likes, as a ranking signal for websites. This is because it can be hard for them to keep up with the signals as the pages change so frequently.


Google’s Algorithms Should be Able to Detect & Prioritize Original Content From Near Duplicate Versions

October 29, 2019 Source

Google’s algorithms will ideally be able to detect spun content which has been rewritten from another source and see the original content as more valuable.


No Specific Way to Optimise For BERT Apart From Writing Naturally

October 29, 2019 Source

There isn’t anything specific you need to do to optimise for BERT, as this update is about Google’s algorithms understanding natural language better.


Implementing Dark Mode Option Will Not Affect a Site’s SEO

October 18, 2019 Source

Implementing dark mode on a website will not impact SEO. This is because it is usually implemented by CSS, which doesn’t affect how Google is able to crawl, render or index a site.


Google’s Core Updates Affect a Number of Ranking Signals, Rather Than Specific Ones

September 27, 2019 Source

The core updates Google implements affect a number of the ranking signals that they use in their algorithms. They aren’t just focused on specific signals such as content or links.


A Readiness Classifier & Algorithm is Used to Determine Mobile-first IndexingA Readiness Classifier & Algorithm is Used to Determine Mobile-first Indexing

September 3, 2019 Source

A readiness classifier is used to determine whether or not pages are ready for mobile-first indexing and looks at elements like internal linking, anchor text and content differences. However, if the algorithm determines that the majority of pages are ready then the site will be moved, even if some pages have content inconsistencies. This could impact rankings.


Pages Can be Shown in Google Discover Regardless of Language of Site

July 23, 2019 Source

The language of a website doesn’t matter for its pages to be able to be shown in Google Discover. The main criteria is that they are crawlable and indexable.


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.


Related Topics

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