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How Do Google’s Algorithms Work?


Google’s algorithms are the key behind the search engine’s ability to provide relevant and accurate results for your searches. These complex calculation systems evaluate various factors to determine the relevance and quality of each website in relation to a specific search performed by the user. In this post, we explain how these algorithms work and why it is important to know and master them to rank well in Google search results.

What is an algorithm?

In computing, an algorithm is a set of instructions that describe how to solve a problem or perform a specific task. Algorithms are a key programming component used to perform various tasks, from solving mathematical problems to performing more complex tasks in information systems and information technology.

In Google, the Algorithm performs the task of ordering the different results correctly to satisfy the user.

How do Google algorithms work?

Google’s algorithms combine content understanding, information retrieval, and data analysis techniques to deliver results relevant to user searches.

Google comprises systems that evaluate and analyze search results based on different ranking factors and rank them in an organized manner. For example, the User Experience System evaluates user experience indicators such as Core Web Vitals, mobile optimization, HTTPS security, and the absence of intrusive interstitials.

Some of these systems or algorithms are part of the main Algorithm, also known as “Core.” Other Google algorithms are not within the “Core”; they are added to the main search algorithm. These algorithms are developed to improve users’ search experience and address specific problems that the main search algorithm cannot resolve.

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To properly understand how algorithms work, we have to explain and understand how Google works:

How does Google work?

Web page tracking

The crawling of web pages is a fundamental activity for search engines like Google. To provide relevant and updated results to users, it is necessary to constantly crawl the web in search of new pages and changes to existing ones.

To do this, Google uses automated programs called “spiders” or “bots.” These programs are responsible for traversing the web in search of links, following each to reach new pages and websites. Spiders can read and analyze each page’s content, identifying keywords, links, and other important elements.


Once a spider has crawled a page, the information is stored in Google’s database. This information is used to index the page, that is, to add it to Google’s index and make it available for inclusion in search results.

Search processing

When a user performs a search on Google, the search algorithm uses a combination of ranking factors such as relevance, authority, originality, and quality of the content, or user experience on the page, to determine the most relevant results for the search.


Search results are categorized and organized into a list presented to the user on a search results page (SERP – Search Engine Result Page).

The most important Google algorithms

PageRank Algorithm (1998)

This Algorithm was Google’s first search algorithm and is still used today as an important factor in ranking search results. It is a ranking algorithm that assigns a score to each page on the web to determine its relevance and order search results.

Panda Algorithm (2011)

Panda is a content quality algorithm that evaluates the quality and relevance of websites and penalizes sites with low-quality content. This Algorithm improved users’ search experience, eliminating low-quality results.

Penguin Algorithm (2012)

Google’s Penguin algorithm is designed to penalize websites that use artificial linking techniques to improve their rankings in search results. Their goal is to improve the quality of search results and promote ethical SEO practices.

Hummingbird Algorithm (2013)

The Hummingbird or “Hummingbird” algorithm is a semantic search algorithm that understands the meaning behind search queries and provides more accurate and relevant results. This Algorithm improved the understanding of users’ search intent and the relevance of search results.

Pigeon Algorithm (2014)

Google’s Pigeon algorithm is a system that improves the accuracy and relevance of Google Maps search results and local searches in general. It uses the user’s location and the quality of the website to provide more valuable and relevant results.

RankBrain Algorithm (2015)

RankBrain is a machine learning algorithm that helps Google improve search results as it learns more about searches and users. This Algorithm uses machine learning to improve understanding of user searches and deliver more accurate results.

BERT algorithm (2018)

BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is a natural language processing (NLP) algorithm. This Algorithm understands the context and meaning behind search queries to provide more accurate results.

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Algorithm updates

The Algorithm or algorithms used for processing the search and classification of results could be better; therefore, it needs updates.

Google makes more than 500 updates a year to its algorithms.

Algorithm enhancements serve to fix bugs, add processing layers, and prevent ranking tampering. That is, they serve to make Google work better for the user.

Important updates or “Core Updates” affect the results more and often force a change in how websites are optimized for positioning.

Why does the Google Search algorithm change?

The Google positioning algorithm is constantly changing to improve the quality of search results and meet users’ needs. The Algorithm temperature graph shows us the number of modifications carried out in recent years. As users change their behaviour and search needs, Google adjusts its Algorithm to ensure that results are relevant, useful, and accurate.

In addition, Google also makes updates to prevent websites from using spam or manipulation techniques to improve search results rankings and encourage ethical SEO practices.

Thus, as the MOZ Algorithm temperature graph, there are a large number of updates that result in changes to the SERPs. In moments of higher “temperature,” sudden changes occur, and these are the moments in which you can move up in position if you were down or down if the change affects you negatively.

Google’s algorithmic temperature mapping is driven by human choice (and error). Although indeed, we cannot predict the future of algorithm changes if we can try to learn from old patterns.

With the advancement of machine learning, it may be more difficult to understand Google signals, but the themes will probably be familiar: valuable content, showing authority and trust; fast, secure, and mobile-adapted pages; Avoid sites created exclusively for SEO.

What is the difference between an algorithm and a Core Update?

As I mentioned, a Google algorithm is a set of rules and procedures to rank search results. In contrast, a Core Update is a major update to the core algorithm that affects how Google rates and ranks search results.

Google Algorithm Core Updates have been around for several years but were not given an official name until 2019. Since then, Google has been releasing core updates regularly to improve the quality of search results and provide a better user experience.

Algorithm updates can have a significant impact on the positioning of websites. Therefore, as SEO specialists, we must be aware of how they affect us and how we must act to comply with the “new” algorithm rules of the game. Google.

In conclusion, Google’s algorithms are complex systems that evaluate different factors to determine the relevance and quality of a website in relation to a specific user search. Google has several important algorithms, each designed to address specific problems and improve the search experience for users. To improve SEO results, we must understand each algorithm change to know what Google values ​​most when positioning the results.

Also Read: Audiences In Google Ads: Remarketing And Prospecting


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