There are 19 notable active ranking systems that Google uses to organize information by relevance, usefulness, and accessibility. These ranking systems work in sync with other Google processes behind the scenes, attempting to ensure that Google Search delivers the best response to user queries in the quickest amount of time. Together, they work hand-in-hand to make Google as user-friendly, helpful, and intuitive as it can be. That’s no small task.
Of the 19 ranking systems at work, there are 5 stand-outs that search engine optimization (SEO) professionals should understand better. These ranking systems are fascinating, and they’ve come a long way in helping Google adapt and understand users’ search habits.
What’s a Ranking System & How Does it Differ from an Update?Google recently released a guide to Google Search Ranking systems, and the notable difference is in how what would traditionally be called an “update” is used. In the old days, just about every change was labeled as an “update” — including the addition of a ranking system to Search.
Going forward, “updates” will now refer to one-and-done changes to the algorithm and various Google processes, whereas the term “ranking systems” will help distinguish systems that are continually running. To reframe the distinction, on December 5, Google released a few “updates” to its more recent helpful content ranking system. While changes are made to and within the helpful content ranking system, the existing system...
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