Google Algorithm Updates

By: Amanda Young

What are Google algorithms?

SearchEngine Journal defines Google’s algorithms as a complex system used to gather data from its search index and immediately deliver the results for a query. Google uses a variety of algorithms and rankings to organize web pages based on relevancy.  The pages with the highest relevance end up on the search engine results page (SERP).  Google makes thousands of changes every year. Most updates go unnoticed, however, there are a few larger updates that are reported. 

The most recent update that was released was called the “May 2020 Core Update”.  According to an analysis of the update, the update concentrated on relevancy, expertise, authority, trustworthiness, and link quality. 


Over the years Google has improved their SERPs to help find the searcher the best match in results.  Having strong relevance in search results means that Google has a good understanding of the language that was typed into the query.  Google is known for using BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers.  BERT is a technique used for Natural Language Processing (NLP) that was released by Google in October 2019.  


One of the most common categories that was focused on was medical related search.  It is important to provide site users with the most accurate information that is backed up by reliable sources. 


Google still occasionally struggles with authority.  Larger websites tend to outperform smaller sites.  In some cases, queries actually call for more local and smaller results.  To meet user needs it is essential to be able to differentiate what the user is asking for. 


For every update that is release, Google looks for websites that it deems no longer trustworthy.  They find these sites by judging the traffic the site has received overtime.  The less traffic over time and the older the site gets the farther down it gets put in the SERP.  

Link Quality

It is not common for Google to worry about link quality in their updates.  It is believed that Google tends to worry and focus more on the content of a site rather than the looks of its link. 

The world’s volatility skyrocketed along with the most recent Google’s Core Update that seemed to have brought up the ordinary SERP volatility as well. Here is some data that shows the volatility:

Here are websites that benefited the most from the update:

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