What Are Google Search Updates?

We’re going to break down why Google updates are important, how they improve the user experience, and how they can lend themselves to making sure your website stays relevant.

Google Search Updates

Since the dawn of smartphones, updates are nothing new to any of us. In fact, we’re usually notified when an update needs to take place and given a choice as to when we want the update to happen. However, there’s another platform you probably use daily that updates thousands of times without you even realizing it, and that is Google Search. How exactly does such a complex process work? Fear not! We’re going to break down why Google updates are important, how they improve the user experience, and how they can lend themselves to making sure your website stays relevant.


Why Are Updates Important?

Most of us throw around the phrase “just Google it” without a second thought, but what makes Google a household name above all the other search engine options there are? The simple answer is the constant updates. Every day, Google search receives millions of queries from all over the world in over 100 languages, and the automated systems go about identifying the information that is most relevant. The goal? To get users to find the best matches for their search. 

How is Google able to deliver such complex results on such a large scale? The systems Google has employed must be constantly improved and updated to assist the search engine to display only the most useful results. This involves an ongoing search for ways to improve and adjust. Now the question is, do these efforts pay off over time? Absolutely! Evaluation processes show us that within the past five years, Google has reduced the amount of irrelevant search results by over 40%. With billions of users being sent to billions of websites on a daily basis, this is a HUGE win.

In addition, Google sends users to a broad variety of sites, aiding websites from around the world to get discovered by those that are looking for their products, services, or information. As the web evolves and new sites emerge, updates continue to be made to ensure the wide range of publishers and businesses are supported and seen.

How Do Updates Improve the Google Search Experience?

So we’ve established that Google search updates are important; now let’s look at a few specific examples of what these updates accomplish:

In 2021, an improvement was launched to help users find the products they’re seeking more efficiently. Google has an automated system designed to read reviews and determine if they go the extra mile in providing extra research or expertise rather than just basic information. This feature helps users find high quality results.

Another example would be the update made several years back that works to determine if the content is mobile-friendly. Since most Google searches are through a mobile device, search results that favor the sites that render a quality experience on mobile divides are especially helpful.

These are just two examples of the dozens of updates we might implement in any given week to improve Google Search in strategic ways. These improvements are tested and evaluated through Google’s expert rating process. Search users typically don’t even notice these updates, but statistics show that each update improves Google little by little. Each little update adds up and contributes to the wonderful Google Search experience you know and love.

What Are Core Updates?

Occasionally, Google makes an improvement to their overall ranking strategy that’s a bit more substantial. These improvements are referred to as core updates. Core updates are generally noticed most by those that are actively running websites or those that are performing search engine optimization (SEO), but they can lead to considerable changes whether they are noticed or not. When one of these updates is in the works, site owners are notified so they understand that these changes are taking place because Google systems have been improved to better satisfy user expectations. They also want to remind them that these core updates are not unique to specific sites; rather, they are changes to Google Search as a whole to improve user experience. 

It’s worth noting that some pages show a lower performance after a core update, and this doesn’t indicate a problem with those pages. If you notice this, don’t assume that your site has been hit with manual or algorithmic action or violated webmaster guidelines. In actuality, core updates don’t target specific pages or sites; they’re merely an overall improvement in how Google systems assess content. Look at the glass half full - these changes often cause underappreciated pages to perform better!

Let’s use this example to imagine how a core update works: Imagine that in 2020, you recorded a list of the top songs of that year. If you redo that list in 2023, that list is naturally going to be affected. Top hits of the year 2020 will naturally slip in popularity, but this also makes way for great music that maybe few people have heard to be noticed and included, even if they have been around for a while. 

Core updates aren’t designed to cause popular websites to lose relevance but rather to increase the overall relevancy of Google Search and help users find the results they are looking for. Site traffic is largely a net exchange. A core update might result in some pages not performing as well, but other pages gain more attention. This approach is how they continue to improve Google search and drive more traffic to sites across the web.

How Google Can Help Your Website Thrive

Change can be scary. The good news is that Google provides tools and guidance to site owners that can help them be more successful with their Google Search performance. Understand that these guidelines are not a guarantee that a site will stand out for every desired query; no search engine could guarantee this since any given subject could have thousands of pages that are all equally relevant. However, following Google’s core update guidance, site owners can give Google a better idea of when they have the most relevant content to display.

Since AMST knows that SEO is a huge part of your success in Google Search, we have a dedicated team of SEO analysts that use their expertise to strategize the best possible plan for your business goals. Reach out to us today so we can help you get to that first page on Google Search results!




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