What is the Search Engine Algorithm? A Search Engine Algorithm is a mathematical calculation or we can say a mathematical formula that is used to determine and display the relevant information from indexed web pages that are stored in the search engine’s database by determining the relevancy of the user’s search query.
Search algorithm plays a very critical role in displaying the most relevant and informative search result over search engines and hence it becomes important for the Digital Marketing and SEO professionals to understand the roles and responsibilities of each major Google’s search algorithm so they can better understand the motive of doing SEO.
Not just this, several times in SEO interviews, the interviews ask questions on Algorithms and on the latest Algorithm Updates happened so they can check the candidate’s knowledge on the current trends happening in search in order to further analyze if the interviewed is a good fit the role or not.
In this, What is Search Engine Algorithms blog post I have covered all of the major Google algorithm updates that happened from 1996 that are helping Google to be on top of the most successful search engines list of all times.
If we go in the late back years of SEO, there were 4 main well-known algorithms that were used widely in Google Search. But, since the number of internet and smartphones started growing with a rapid speed, there were some challenges Google had to face in order to deliver the customized search results that should be relevant and quick on different types of search queries. So they launched 3 new algorithm updates that are currently in use along with all the old 4 ones.
In order to make all of those updates easier to understand for you, I have divided them into two categories. #1 Google’s Old Age Search Engine Algorithm Updates and #2 Google’s Old Age Search Engine Algorithm Updates. I have explained both of them in detail below.
Google’s Old Age Search Engine Algorithm Updates:
#1 Page Rank:
Release Year 1996 which was the most important criteria through which search engines determine the importance of a web page and used to give them ranking positions accordingly. Basically, this algorithm used to work on a simple format of “Number of Backlinks To a Specific Website”.
Release date February 23, 2011, This algorithm was intentionally developed to rank websites on the basis of “Content Quality” and to reward high-quality websites in Google’s organic search engine results.
Release date April 24, 2012: Penguin search algorithm was developed to target the website had unethical and spam backlinks.
Release date August 20, 2013, This update was more like an algorithm upgrade in the Google search engine which helped search results to appear with more accuracy and quickly. There were also no major penalties or rankings up’s and downs after the launch of this update.
Google’s New Age Search Engine Algorithm Updates:
Released Date OCTOBER 26TH, 2015 The motive behind this algorithm was to provide more relevant search results to users. The main update under this algorithm was to make Google Search Engine an automated learner to deliver the rankings after understanding the “Searched Keyword” by breaking down the two or more than 2 terms or by clustering of words that have the best chance of matching it on the websites/web pages.
Released Date March 7, 2017: there is no specific confirmation by Google on the motive of this update, but the SEO community assumed the FRED was designed to hit the websites with aggressive monetization on web pages which actually hamper the User Experience.
#3 Mobile-First Indexing:
Release date July 1, 2019, With this Google algorithm update google enabled and set websites indexing priority first for the mobile and tablets. Since people have started using their smartphones more to do a search on Google, and in order to deliver them the best results google released that update.
Also, they stated, if any website is not 100% responsive for the mobile devices it will see ranking loss specifically in mobiles which is now a major source of organic search traffic.