Let’s understand the Google logic behind ranking website on a search result with the help of this article i.e. Google Algorithms.  

Google SEO Rules: Google Algorithms

As we have read in the topic How Google works there were term algorithms which decide the relevancy criteria of a website. In simple terms, you can say these are the rules and regulations which a website must follow to rank higher.

Note: Google used to update its algorithm frequently so you must follow Google News to be up to date with these algorithms.

In this section we will read the different algorithms on which Google works through which it decides the ranking criteria for your website:

Latest Google Algorithms
Latest Google Algorithm Updates

A. Google Panda Algorithm:

Initial Release Date: February, 23rd 2011

Description: Now let’s read the different factors which it covers and you must consider for your website content.

Thin Content:

The content of your website must be relevant and should provide an in-depth analysis of the topic which you are covering.

Duplicate Content:

The content that you upload on the website must be original (A plagiarism check must be performed). The content within the website should not have resemblance with each other. For example, a website that sells similar products in different parts of a country and has distinct web pages for each city will be considered to have duplicate content.

Lack of authority/trustworthiness:

Your website must be secured and should not be affected by any type of malware attack

High ad-to-content ration:

Try not to increase the ads ratio of your website to more than its content. It will eventually lower your website rank.

B. Google Penguin Algorithm:

Initial Release date: April, 24th 2012

Description: These are the two factors it covers:

Link Schemes:

Entire websites which contained spam links paid backlinks from the unrelated high-rank websites were ranked out from Google search engine results page after the launch of Penguin Algorithm.

So, in order to make your website Penguin friendly, you must remove all the spam links and paid backlinks related to your website.

Keyword Stuffing:

Under this, you cannot over optimize your website on the basis of keywords because it will lead to keyword stuffing. You must maintain a good ratio between your content and keywords.

C. Google Humming Bird Algorithm:

Approx. Release Date: August, 20th 2013

Description: The important factors that it covers (this update doesn’t affect the ranking of webpages)

Knowledge Graph:

Let’s take an example to understand the concept behind the knowledge graph. When I type a search query How to make a chocolate cake and Google shows me this knowledge graph:

Google Algorithm Knowledge Graph
So, Google start showing some part of result on its Search page to make it easy for its user to judge which page to open.

The concept of Semantic Search:

In addition to knowledge graph Google also introduced semantic search which was a concept-based search where Google started predicting what we are going to search. See below example:

Google Logic Based Search
In the above image when I typed best place for Italian it predicted my intent and showed me the result. It showed me the best Italian restaurant instead of best Italian people or anything else. So, in this way Google uses its Artificial Intelligence technology which helps it in understanding users’ intent in order to show best possible results.

D. Google Algorithms: Pigeon Update

Initial Release Date:  August 20, 2013


The advantage that users got after the Pigeon rollout was that that the local searches got improved. Because after the Pigeon update, Google showed the results more focused on distance and location.

Likewise, after every update from Google, there is some change in the ranking of websites. Let’s look at what changes did this update bring:

  • The prime focus of Pigeon update is to promote the local businesses to get online and list them up in order. This helped Google in showing them to the users searching for them. In this way, Google showed the results based on the distance and location of the searcher.
Google Algorithm
In the image above, when I type “night food restaurant”, Google showed up the result based on my location and list up the local businesses that can help me in this regard. Initially Google used to show 7 listings but now it’s been lowered down to 3 listing and other listing can be seen by clicking on more places.

E. Mobile search result algorithm:

Initial Release Date: April 21, 2015

Description: Google start ranking those websites higher which are not only desktop friendly but also are mobile friendly. The reason behind bringing this update might have been that Google recognizes that the majority of searches are being done on mobile devices. So, Google makes it mandatory for the owner of the website to make their website both desktop and mobile friendly.

By mobile friendly I mean all the functions of that website should work on mobile: resolution should be perfect, loading speed should be the same and other important factors should be considered to make it more user-friendly

F. Google Rank Brain Algorithm:

Initial Release date: October 26th, 2015


  1. This update brings Google’s machine learning into the plate while showing the result on Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
  2. The basic idea behind this update is to make the search results more focused on what the user wants. The same it achieves by decoding users’ intent, data input, location, etc. to provide the best-matched result.
  3. Let’s take an example to better understand this update. For example, user search for Cricket Word Cup now Google applies its Rank brain algorithm to recognize users’ intent whether the user is looking for cricket world that will be played in 2019 or seeking information related to 2015 world cup. Here, if Google runs on a simple algorithm. It will show the results based on the website content where the words have a higher frequency, the total number of hits are found and displayed in the result But with this update, Google will decode the user’s intent by taking into consideration its location, the way the query is entered, intent, and other factors before showing the most accurate result.

G. Google Algorithm: Possum Update

Initial Release Date: September 1st 2016

Description: Basically, this update affects the local business listing. The result as organic search listing will remain the same however your search results of Google Map listing will fluctuate.

Now let’s analyze it’s impact on the SEO industry:

Local Listing get affected:

Let’s take an example: I search for a chicken restaurant nearby me and there is chance that there are multiple restaurants near me. Initially, what happened was that Google used to provide you a huge list of 7 or more restaurants in its business listing results page but the same is not true after possum update. Now the local listing result has been shortened and contains some well-reviewed listings on the search result page (2 -3 listing only) rest other can be browsed after clicking on “more places” option.

Local Listing Ads

Business outside the city limit gets a boost:

This point is a little tricky. Let’s take an example to understand it in an easier way.

For example, I want to search for plumbing in New Delhi when I hit this search, Google will boost the results within the border or city limits of New Delhi and serving your area.

Confused? Let me explain this example a little in details.

What actually may have happened is that the owner might work from home and during the Google Map listing he had listed his home address there but for the area of service, he might have mentioned your area so Google boosts its search results based on the reviews, rating, and other important factors.

Filtering by Address:

All businesses who have been listed on Google twice or thrice for the same services with the same owner name just to get a boost in search ranking got outranked by Google.

For example, you own a Law Firm. For each service, you have multiple attorneys and you list them all separately though they have same services to offer. Now Google has become strict and it will outrank you if you follow this technique. Add your services at one place and associated attorneys should be there in the description rather than creating a separate listing for all the attorneys.

Adapting to the unique needs of users:

This one is important and most of us follow it as well. This simply means that you must have all the keywords in your listing that users generally type in their search query when they are looking for you.

H. Google Algorithm: Fred Update

Initial Release Date: March 8th, 2017


It was more based on the quality of your website. The website you own must follow all the Webmaster guidelines and should not run to earn money via affiliate marketing or Ads as opposed to maintaining good quality content within search engine guidelines.

Some important aspects that Google searches for:

  1. The website owner must give his proper information
  2. The page description must contain quality content
  3. The page must be error-free, loads quick and must have few technical errors
  4. The website reputation must be good and it should contain quality backlinks, review, rating, etc

Other Algorithm might be of your interest:

Google Mayday Update:

It was released around May 2010, specifying that Websites must follow all the Webmaster guidelines specifically and focus on quality content.

Google Page Layout Algorithm:

It was released in January, 2012. The purpose of this algorithm was to de-rank the websites that are based on advertisements rather than content. They provide a long set of ads on the top page rather than quality content

Google Payday Loans Algorithm:

It was released around June, 2013. The major focus of this algorithm was to de-rank websites promoting spam links on highly competitive keywords. These links generally redirected the users to a malware attack which may even hack their device.

Google Page Speed Algorithm:

It was released in April 2013 focusing on page speed. Your website page speed must be quick and should not contain any flashy content.

Next Lecture: Is Digital Marketing Worth?

So, this was all about Google Algorithms which must keep in mind while doing Search Engine Optimization

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