How Google Works and How To Predict Search Algorithm Changes

how to predict chnages in the google search algorithm

Can SEOs Predict Changes In The Google Search Algorithm?

Let’s face it, website optimization, high website rankings in search engine results, and search engine marketing (SEM) in general takes time, talent, research, and a certain amount of expertise to master. It’s hard out there for an SEO and even harder to be an SEO expert. There are just too many changes in search to keep up with. Until now. Well, the google search algorithm will continue to change regardless, but this post will attempt to help you understand Google search and the secrets of their algorithm.

Google’s search algorithm is a complicated and dynamic entity. This algorithm, according to a post on, “dictates everything that happens in Google’s search results. The algorithm is the key that can unlock insane amounts of wealth, but it can also be the penalty that can ruin your business.”

So how do you understand Google’s top-secret algorithm and is it even possible? Pretty much only the engineers that write and re-write the algorithm, and other key principles at Google who are in-the-know, actually understand the algorithm and everything that goes in to making it up.


Just The Facts

When it comes to search and using Google to find the answers to your queries, you want the best and most relevant answer, not a bunch of webpages. This is where algorithms become your best friend. Algorithms are computer programs that look for clues to give you back the most relevant links relating to your search query. Google says:

“For a typical query, there are thousands, if not millions, of webpages with helpful information. Algorithms are the computer processes and formulas that take your questions and turn them into answers. Today Google’s algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to guess what you might really be looking for. These signals include things like the terms on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank.”

For more details on Google search, watch this video below from Google on the past and future of search. It’s an interesting short history of the evolution of search, that highlights some of the most important milestones from the past decade and also includes a taste of what’s coming in the future.

“Our goal is to get you to the answer you’re looking for faster and faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between your questions and the information you seek. For those of you looking to deepen your understanding of how search has evolved, this video highlights some important trends like universal results, quick answers and the future of search.”

The Evolution Of Search


Where Does The Algorithm Gets Its Information?

The Google engineer’s continue to write and tweak a list of rules that decides what links get served up to answer your search query. That’s what the algorithm is – just that list of rules. It’s obviously way more complicated than that but to break it down in simple terms, it’s a set of rules that determine the SERPs.

The plethora of content that is indexed in Google, acts as the library of resources from where the algorithm gets its answers. So how many questions and rules are on this list? There’s now probably over 200 search engine ranking factors that help the algorithm determine the best results to show for your search query.


How does the Search Algorithm Function?

Believe it or not, this isn’t rocket science. The Google search algorithm does its thing and serves up results based on 2 broad principles: Relevancy and Offsite Factors.

+ Relevancy:

Here’s proof of the fact that keywords are still important. Google’s search algorithm bases relevancy of how well an indexed webpage matches the specific search query. Relevancy factors include: keywords, title, headline, metatags, etc.

+ Offsite Factors:

On-page SEO is one thing. A very important SEO thing. But Off-page SEO is as equally essential. Offsite factors affect a webpage even though they are not actually part of that webpage’s content. Examples include: site speed, click through rates, back links, etc.


How Google Search Works

Wouldn’t it be great to have an infographic, no wait, an animated infographic that details exactly how Google works? Good news, there is! Courtesy of Quicksprout, check out this very informative piece explaining the whole entire process of how Google search works.


=””>How Google Works
Courtesy of: =””>Quick Sprout


The Wrap

Remember that Google will continually be changing their search algorithm in minor and major ways. Most of the changes will be subtle. Then again, who knows?

If you need some background on the most recent significant changes to the Google algorithm, one of these useful articles will help you:


Old SEO vs. The New SEO

Everything You Need To Know About the Google Panda Update

How To Identify and Recover From A Google Penguin Penalty

SEO In The Age of Hummingbird

Rumour Has It: A New Google Algorithm Update Coming Soon


For an in-depth analysis and details of how to actually predict Google’s algorithm changes, be sure to read Neil Patel’s post. That post was the source and inspiration for this one.

Would love to hear your thoughts on manipulating and working along side the Google search algorithm and it’s many changes. Sound off in the comments


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