Website owners who monitor their site’s ranking on search engines know that ranking can change often. These fluctuations are to be expected when there are billions of pages being created and updated every day. However, changes in search engine rankings are also the result of changes to the algorithm. Though we tend to focus on significant updates to Google, there a hundreds of smaller changes as well. Google said that in 2018, they made more than 3,200 changes to Google Search.
The power of Google Search for consumers goes beyond the typical search engine results. The rankings are important and how many websites generate traffic. However, Google has steadily added new features that make it easier for users to find the answer they seek. For example, featured snippets at the top of the search results and the knowledge panels on the right-hand side are essential parts of the search experience for Google users.
As these tools become a more critical part of search activity, Google has updated these features to make them more useful. So besides the changes made to the search algorithm, Google also makes changes to these additional elements. This activity has boosted the number of changes Google makes per year significantly.
In 2010, Google was said to make more than one change per day, on average. That means that in less than a decade, Google has gone from less than 500 modifications in a year, to more than 3,200. Employees at the search giant are engaged in a continuous process of improving an updating the search portal.
In a recent post, Google explained how the company used its various features to improve the quality of search. The post also addressed the improvements made to the individual elements of the search result page to improve accuracy and remove material that violates the company’s guidelines.
The post explained how and why Google makes so many changes. Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liaison for Search, wrote, “Our search algorithms are complex math equations that rely on hundreds of variables, and last year alone, we made more than 3,200 changes to our search systems. Some of these were visible launches of new features, while many others were regular updates meant to keep our results relevant as content on the web changes. And some are also improvements based on issues we identified, either via public reports or our own ongoing quality evaluations.”
Though Google doesn’t announce every change, these updates can have a tremendous impact on the way marketers reach people on Google Search. It creates new opportunities to be featured in places other than the blue links of search results. Companies can better control what customers see when they search for their organization by claiming a knowledge panel and ensuring the best images and up-to-date information is shown.
As any SEO marketer can tell you, these changes also mean that websites need to update their content and SEO strategy to get the best exposure on Google.
If you want to keep up with the latest significant changes happening on the search giant’s platform, look through the other articles on our site about Google Updates and Changes.
And for more news about recent Google announcements, read this article on the end of support for the NOINDEX directive in robots.txt files.