Keeping Up with Google Algorithm Updates

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Katelyn Benfield March 11, 2020

Keeping up with Google Algorithm updates

How often does Google change their algorithm?

Google is constantly updating its search algorithm. These updates may include improvements, changes, tweaks, and so on. In 2010, according to Google’s Matt Cutts, "on average, [Google] tends to roll out 350–400 things per year." Years later, this number has grown significantly. In 2018, Google made over 3,200 changes to its search algorithm. While many of these changes are minimal, together, they improve and modify the way this search engine operates.


Newest changes

In addition to these smaller changes, Google tends to release a few big updates each year. In October 2019, Google released its new algorithm ‘BERT’. This update affects only 10% of all search results and is meant to help improve the way Google interprets certain queries. According to Google, “These improvements are oriented around improving language understanding, particularly for more natural language/conversational queries, as BERT is able to help Search better understand the nuance and context of words in Searches and better match those queries with helpful results.”


Below is an example of how BERT interprets the search language used and creates a more accurate result:


Two cell phones side by side showing Google search results.
How does this affect creators?

The primary goal of these updates is not to totally change the way that publishers create content. It is meant to adapt to the good, quality content that is already being produced. In 2011, when Google released its ‘Panda’ algorithm, they said, “Our advice for publishers continues to be to focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites and not to focus too much on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or signals.”


When creating content, Google advises that each creator goes through a series of questions to determine what qualifies as “quality content”:


  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
  • Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
  • Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  • Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

While Google continues to make a lot of changes, their ultimate goal is to bring visibility to good and helpful content.


If you want to improve your website or need help with SEO and content, contact us today. At Red Razor Marketing, our aim is to help all of our clients reach their business goals. We can navigate Google algorithm updates and help you produce quality content for your brand.