How google search machine works - Algorithm

How google search machine works, what is Algorithm, how does google search engine works, how google algorithm works , How to increase traffic

How google search machine works - Algorithm

Google rolls out algorithm updates once or twice every month (and that's just the ones we know about!), but not all of them have an equally strong impact on the SERP's. To help you make sense of Google's major ALGO changes in the past years, I've put up a cheat sheet with the most important updates and penalties rolled out in the recent years, along with a list of hazards and prevention tips for each.

But before we start, let's have a quick look to check whether any given update has impacted your own site's traffic. SEO PowerSuite's Rank Tracker is a massive help in this; the tool will automatically match up dates of all major Google updates to your traffic and ranking graphs.


  • Launch Rank Tracker (if you don't have it installed, get SEO Power Suite's free version here) and create a project for your site by entering its URL and specifying your target keywords.
  • Click the Update visits button in Rank Tracker's top menu, and enter your Google Analytics credentials to sync your account with the tool.
  • In the lower part of your Rank Tracker dashboard, switch to the Organic Traffic tab.


The dotted lines over your graph mark the dates of major Google algo updates. Examine the graph to see if any drops (or spikes!) in visits correlate with the updates. Hover your mouse over any of the lines to see what the update was.

Did any of the updates impact your organic traffic in any way? Read on to find out what each of the updates was about, what the main hazards are, and how you can keep your site safe.

1. Panda

Google Panda is an algorithm used to assign a content quality score to webpages and down-rank sites with low-quality, spammy, or thin content. Initially, Panda was a filter rather than a part of Google's core algorithm, but in January 2016, it was officially incorporated into the ranking algo. While this doesn't mean that Panda is now applied to search results in real time, it does indicate that both getting filtered by and recovering from Panda now happens faster than before.

Hazards
  • Duplicate content
  • Plagiarism
  • Thin content
  • User-generated spam
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Poor user experience


2. Penguin

Google Penguin aims to identify and down-rank sites with unnatural link profiles, deemed to be spamming the search results by using manipulative link tactics. Since late 2016, Penguin is part of Google's core ranking algo and operates in real time, which means that penalties are now applied faster, and recovery also takes less time.

Hazards
  • Links coming from poor quality, "spammy" sites
  • Links coming from sites created purely for SEO link building (PBNs)
  • Links coming from topically irrelevant sites
  • Paid links
  • Links with overly optimized anchor text

3. Pirate

Google's Pirate Update was designed to prevent sites that have received numerous copyright infringement reports from ranking well in Google search. The majority of sites affected are relatively big and well-known websites that made pirated content (such as movies, music, or books) available to visitors for free, particularly torrent sites. That said, it still isn't in Google's power to follow through with the numerous new sites with pirated content that emerge literally every day.

Hazards
  • Pirated content
  • High volume of copyright infringement reports


4. Hummingbird

Google Hummingbird is a major algorithm change that has to do with interpreting search queries, (particularly longer, conversational searches) and providing search results that match searcher intent, rather than individual keywords within the query.
While keywords within the query continue to be important, Hummingbird adds more strength to the meaning behind the query as a whole. The use of synonyms has also been optimized with Hummingbird; instead of listing results with the exact keyword match, Google shows more theme-related results in the SERPs that do not necessarily have the keywords from the query in their content.

Hazards
  • Exact-match keyword targeting
  • Keyword stuffing

5. Pigeon

Google Pigeon (currently affecting searches in English only) dramatically altered the results Google returns for queries in which the searcher's location plays a part. According to Google, Pigeon created closer ties between the local algorithm and the core algorithm, meaning that the same SEO factors are now being used to rank local and non-local Google results. This update also uses location and distance as a key factor in ranking the results.

Pigeon led to a significant (at least 50%) decline in the number of queries local packs are returned for, gave a ranking boost to local directory sites, and connected Google Web search and Google Map search in a more cohesive way.

Hazards
  • Poorly optimized pages
  • Improper setup of a Google My Business page
  • NAP inconsistency
  • Lack of citations in local directories (if relevant)

6. Mobile Friendly Update

Google's Mobile Friendly Update (aka Mobilegeddon) is meant to ensure that pages optimized for mobile devices rank at the top of mobile search, and subsequently, down-rank pages that are not mobile friendly. Desktop searches have not been affected by the update.

Mobile friendliness is a page-level factor, meaning that one page of your site can be deemed mobile friendly and up-ranked, while the rest might fail the test.

Hazards
  • Lack of a mobile version of the page
  • Improper viewport configuration
  • Illegible content
  • Plugin use

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