What is Google Search Algorithm?

The Google search algorithm is a complex system that allows Google to find, rank, and provide the most relevant pages for a given query.

The Google search algorithm refers to Google’s internal technique for ranking material. When determining these ranks, it considers various variables, including the relevance and quality of the content about a certain search query.

But, before we go into the specifics of these elements, it’s important to first grasp the context of the Google ranking system.

This procedure includes three stages:


Google bots (the infamous “spiders”) crawl the web in the first step, looking for new or updated web pages. The more links pointing to a page, the easier it is for Google to find it. To rank, pages must be crawled and indexed.


The next step for Google is to examine these URLs and determine what each page is about. It accomplishes this by scrutinizing the page’s content, photos, and other media assets then storing the information in a massive database known as the Google index. It is critical that your technical SEO is in good working order during these first two stages and that your sitemap, headers, and tags are established correctly.

You can check your site’s page indexing using the Page Counter tool by Sitechecker. This tool will scan your entire site and show you the total number of pages and which ones are indexed by Google.


The last stage is to figure out which page is the most relevant and useful for a given search query. It is the ranking stage, and it is here that the Google search algorithm enters the picture.

How Does Google Search Algorithm Work?

Unfortunately, nobody outside of Google’s inner circle understands the answer to this question.

There are two compelling arguments for this. To begin, the algorithm is a highly guarded corporate secret, and revealing it would significantly reduce the company’s value.

But, more significantly, if the algorithm is made public, anyone can use it to manipulate the system to their advantage. Users will receive unsatisfactory search results, and the internet would surely be worse as a result, given Google’s power and value as an online tool.

As a result, many digital marketers and SEOs ponder how the algorithm works and what they should do to rank higher in the SERPs. However, just because the algorithm is off-limits doesn’t mean Google isn’t talking about it.

There are numerous aspects to consider. We’ll go through 5 primary factors (as listed by Google) that determine which results are provided for a given query:

Meaning of the Query

Google needs to know what the user is looking for and what his search intent is to offer relevant results.

They must be able to comprehend and assess a wide range of topics, including:

The meaning of the words: what do the words in the natural language mean?

Search intent behind the query: What does the user intend to achieve by utilizing this query – a definition, a review, a purchase, or the location of a specific website?

The requirement for content freshness: is the query time-sensitive and necessitates new data?

Relevance of Pages

The search engine must then determine which pages are related to the search query. To put it another way, we want to locate the pages that best answer the user’s search query.

It accomplishes this by crawling and indexing all web pages on the internet regularly and analyzing their content.

Keywords have a critical role. If the search query and phrases linked to the search query exist on the page, the page is likely to be relevant for the user.

Quality of Content

Because each search query is likely to yield millions of results, Google must prioritize the ones that deliver high-quality content and show:

  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

The so-called PageRank algorithm, which considers the quality and amount of links heading to a website, is one of the most vital components.

Usability of Pages

Now that Google has covered content relevancy and quality, they must ensure that website is usable and user-friendly.

It covers technical considerations like:

  • Responsiveness of the page.
  • In all browsers, the appearance is correct.
  • Page loading time.
  • Website safety and security.

These may not be the most essential factors, but when other elements (such as relevance and quality) are equal, they are undoubtedly considered.

Context and Settings

At last, the user’s circumstances and preferences have a significant impact on the search results.

These could include the following:

  • The user’s current location
  • Searching history
  • Options for searching

Google Algorithm Updates

Here’s a rundown of the most well-known algorithm improvements in the previous decade that have influenced how Google works:

Panda (2011)

Low-quality pages, weak content, keyword stuffing, and duplicate material are all targets for Google Panda. It was added to the core algorithm in 2016 and is now being rolled out regularly.

Penguin (2012)

A huge algorithm upgrade aimed at any type of manipulative connection (low-quality, spammy, irrelevant, or over-optimized).

Hummingbird (2013)

The Hummingbird upgrade increased Google’s understanding and interpretation of search requests, moving away from exact keywords and toward themes.

Pigeon (2014)

Pigeon concentrated on increasing the quality and accuracy of the local results.

Mobile Update (2015)

In the SEO world, this upgrade is dubbed “Mobilegeddon.” In mobile search results, it favors mobile-friendly pages.

RankBrain (2015)

RankBrain is a machine-learning component of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm that helps produce more relevant search results, as previously stated.

Fred (2017)

Fred is an unsubstantiated upgrade that appears to target low-quality, ad-focused material that violates Google’s Search Quality Guidelines.

Medic (2018)

A major modification to the core algorithm that has a significant impact on the so-called YMYL (your money, your life) pages, particularly health-related information.

Bert (2019)

Another machine learning approach aimed to improve the comprehension of the context of a search query. It is built on the BERT natural language processing model.

Each significant core algorithm update usually prompts a flurry of speculations and discussions in SEO social media groups and forums.

SEO Troubles? Edkent Media is Your Answer

As you can see, determining what Google’s search algorithm prioritizes is challenging, and that algorithm is frequently subject to change.

The good news is that Google is rather open about its broad guidelines and advice.

Edkent Media can assist you in creating and publishing content that incorporates them to your good, whether that means better writing, improved on-page SEO, or faster technical performance. Contact us today at (647) 361-1074.