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.

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.


Search Quality Raters Evaluate Results of Algorithm Testing

May 31, 2019 Source

Google uses Search Quality Raters to evaluate pages when they are testing out changes to algorithms. The teams will test out new ideas and then Raters review the quality of the search results and pages linked from them in different test versions.


Demographic Information Isn’t Used Explicitly in Search Algorithms

May 31, 2019 Source

Google doesn’t explicitly use demographic information in its search engine algorithms. However, search results may vary on a per user basis due to other types of personalization.


Visitors From The Discover Feed Are Expected to be Attributed as Organic Search Traffic

May 28, 2019 Source

While not currently unified, John believes that in the long run visitors arriving to a site from the discover feed will be attributed as visitors from organic search results. This is due to the discover feed being identified as another search service.


Automated Image Recognition is Expected to be Used For Reviewing Favicons

May 28, 2019 Source

When reviewing if favicons are following guidelines, John expects algorithmic automated image recognition will be used to identify if a favicon is not following the guidelines and will then filter it out. Once it sees the favicon has been changed and is following the guidelines it should then be picked up again.


Related Topics

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