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    Google Publishes SEO Guide to Explain Its Algorithms

    Google has just published a new SEO guide explaining Google’s ranking systems to keep website owners and SEO specialists informed about which systems it uses to rank search results and which ones are retired.

    Google presents a guide that lists the ranking systems for search result

    Google, in a blog post, announces the release of a new guide that aims to help website owners and SEO professionals become familiar with search results ranking systems. The guide lists the systems currently used in Google Search, along with a brief explanation for each.

    In addition, Google introduces new terminology by distinguishing between “ranking systems” and “updates”.

    Google wrote:

    “In the past, the term “update” has often been used as the name of a particular ranking system, especially when a new system has been introduced. For example, our system to measure page experience was called the “page experience update” and more recently, our system that evaluates the helpfulness of content was called the “helpful content update”.
    This can be confusing when we make improvements to systems, especially if a system is constantly operating like our helpful content system. A “helpful content update update” or an “update to our helpful content update” is difficult to say, much less understand!
    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.”

    Thus, a “system” is constantly running in the background, whereas an “update” is a one-time change to the ranking systems. For example, the Helpful Content Update system is always running in the background when Google provides search results, although it may receive updates to improve its functioning.

    Current and retired Google ranking systems

    Current Google ranking systems

    According to the guide, here are the ranking systems currently used by Google:

    • BERT,
    • Crisis information systems,
    • Deduplication systems,
    • Exact match domain system,
    • Freshness systems,
    • Helpful content system,
    • Link analysis systems and PageRank,
    • Local news systems,
    • MUM,
    • Neural matching,
    • Original content systems,
    • Removal-based demotion systems,
    • Page experience system,
    • Passage ranking system,
    • Product reviews system,
    • RankBrain,
    • Reliable information systems,
    • Site diversity system,
    • Spam detection systems.

    Retired Google ranking systems

    According to the guide, Google reports that the following systems are now obsolete:

    • Hummingbird,
    • Mobile-friendly ranking system,
    • Page speed system,
    • Panda system,
    • Penguin system,
    • Secure sites system.


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