Google has published a new document named a guide to Google search ranking system. That document outlines the “notable” ranking updates that are currently live and running for Google Search and also some of the historical updates that are either no longer in use or incorporated into other algorithms.
Also, Google’s Danny Sullivan said these should be called ranking “systems” and not “updates.” “Going forward, we’ll be more precise with our wording when differentiating systems from updates. Yes, we’ll still have things like a “helpful content update” or a “product reviews update”, but when possible we will explain those as updates to the respective systems, such as the “helpful content system” and the “product reviews system.” We’ll also be refreshing our help pages to reflect this terminology change, over time,” Danny wrote.
Also note, Google has added a new spam policy named policy circumvention.
Currently Live Google Ranking Systems
Here is the list of currently live Google Search ranking systems that Google documented there. I will note anything I think it new or interesting, otherwise, we covered these before here and you can search this site for our past coverage of each update/system.
- BERT: A system that Google uses to help them “understand how combinations of words express different meanings and intent.”
- Crisis information systems
- Deduplication systems
- Exact match domain system
- Freshness systems
- Helpful content system
- Link analysis systems and PageRank: Google noted “how PageRank works has evolved a lot since then, and it continues to be part of our core ranking systems.”
- Local news systems
- Neural matching: Google uses neural matching to “understand representations of concepts in queries and pages and match them to one another.”
- Original content systems
- Removal-based demotion systems
- Page experience system
- Passage ranking system
- Product reviews system
- RankBrain: Google said it helps them “understand how words are related to concepts. It means we can better return relevant content even if it doesn’t contain all the exact words used in a search, by understanding the content is related to other words and concepts.”
- Reliable information systems
- Site diversity system
- Spam detection systems: Mentions of spam updates, SpamBrain, spam policies, etc.
No Longer Live Google Ranking Systems/Updates
Here is the list of Google ranking systems or updates that are no longer in use or incorporated into other systems.
- Mobile-friendly ranking system
- Page speed system
- Panda system
- Penguin system
- Secure sites system
Danny Sullivan of Google answered a question from Lily Ray in the Google Webmaster Help forums. The question was “Is it possible to get clarification about how the different ranking systems play into the core update system (or not).” Danny replied:
As the page explains, it covers:
“some systems that are part of our core ranking systems, which are the underlying technologies that produce search results in response to queries”
So in terms of the “core update system,” it’s not that we have such a thing. We have core ranking systems, multiple systems, which get help us produce results generally. Occasionally, we update these ranking systems. When we do, we share about that as a core update — the core systems are updated. Our blog post today talks about also why we’re going to be talking about “systems” apart from “updates” to help better clarify such things.
Marie Haynes did a deep dive on Twitter on some of these changes, here are some points I thought were cool that she pointed out:
I searched for “Google” and now I see only 4 pages of results.
I clicked through to the 4th page and see the omitted results message.
And now, I’ve got the regular oodles of pages to see. pic.twitter.com/8RtvJejiy8
— Dr. Marie Haynes🐼 (@Marie_Haynes) November 21, 2022
Daily Search Forum Recap: December 2, 2022
Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.
Just saying today is the 19th year anniversary of this site, and me covering search. Google does not rotate its search index. SEOs are mixed on the importance of domain age in SEO. Google highlights the option to download your data when you delete your Google Business Profile. Google Search is testing “maps on this topic” and “from your subscriptions” in the search results. John Mueller said it is a bigger issue if your most important pages are terrible SEO-wise than your junk pages. And I posted the weekly SEO video recap.
Search Engine Roundtable Stories:
- 19 Years Covering The Search Industry
It has now been 19 years that I’ve been writing on this site, covering what you – the search marketers are talking about from within the search community. Today marks the 19th anniversary of the Search Engine Roundtable.
- Google: If Your Most Important Page Is Terrible, Then That Is Not Good For SEO
Google’s John Mueller said it is a big deal if your most important page or pages are terrible but not such a big deal if your less important pages are terrible. So if your home page is terrible, that is really not good. But if your archived orphaned pages are not good, that is not such a big deal for Google SEO or ranking purposes.
- Google Search Doesn’t Rotate Its Index
Here is a bizarre question that was asked on the Google office hours video asking if Google rotates its index. The question kind of makes sense, because the SEO who asked said on one day they see their page indexed, the next it is gone, then it comes back – is there an index rotation?
- Google Search Tests New Box “Maps On This Topic” & “From Your Subscriptions”
Google Search is showing and maybe testing news and top stories related boxes with a headline that says “maps on this topic.” Also, Google can also know what publications you are subscribed to and show you “from your subscriptions” content as well.
- Google Shows Download Your Google Business Profile Data When You Remove Your Listing
In the new Google Business Profile manager, in Google Search, when you go to the option to remove your Google Business Profile from Google, Google will show you that you can download all of that content locally to your computer.
- Poll: SEOs Are Mixed On Importance Of Domain Age For Google Rankings
A recent Twitter poll by Tim Soulo shows that SEOs are super mixed in their opinion of the importance of domain name age on SEO and Google rankings. The poll showed 40% said domain age is a significant ranking factor in Google, 26% said no, it is not. The rest of the responses, 33%, said it depends.
- Search News Buzz Video Recap: Google Thanksgiving Volatility, Links, Content & More SEO & 19 Years Covering Search
Since Friday of Thanksgiving last week, we have been seeing a lot of chatter and volatility with Google Search. Google said they improved the accuracy of the Discover performance report in Google Search Console. Google said links…
- Hollywood Mirror at Google Office
The Google Dublin office has a actor/actress prep room of some sorts with the classic Hollywood style mirror. This is probably related to some YouTube office area or maybe a studio at the Google offic
Other Great Search Threads:
- Excited to share we have two new metrics available in both Explorations and Reporting Customization in #GA4; Views per Session, and Average Session Duration, Carly Boddy on Twitter
- GBP @GoogleMyBiz is sending out these emails, prompting people to add FAQs in chat, Len on Twitter
- SEO breakdown of Apple.com Kind of a mess technically like many other big sites, yet still ranks mostly for branded terms. They trigger most issues in Site Audit. They could spend a lot of time clean, Patrick Stox on Twitter
- Make sure to check out today’s Google doodle honoring Jerry Lawson, the engineer who gave us video game cartridges, Chappell Ellison on Twitter
- My newest #SEO parody song JUST dropped. #Migration, Davide Previti on Twitter
- Parents: supervised experience beta on YouTube, YouTube for Families Community
Search Engine Land Stories:
Other Great Search Stories:
Industry & Business
Links & Content Marketing
Local & Maps
Mobile & Voice
Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, you can follow us on Facebook and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.
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