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Google's new guide: Here you can now learn everything about the ranking systems

Niklas Lewanczik | 22.11.22


Instead of various articles or blog posts, Google now provides its most important ranking systems on a dedicated guide. It lists all ranking systems - from BERT to MUM - and provides further information.



Being as high up as possible in Google's search engine is still one of the top priorities for most companies


SEO is usually the most lucrative marketing channel a company has.


Most recently, Google rolled out a Product Reviews Update in parallel to the ongoing Core Update for the first time. However, developments such as the Multitask Unified Model (MUM) technology, which can be used to answer complex search queries in detail, are also relevant for the ranking. And major updates, from Penguin to BERT, are also considered relevant landmarks for search engine optimization.

As a rule, Google informs about the various updates for the ranking systems in individual articles and posts. But now, for the first time, the company has published a guide that summarizes all the insights and news that are relevant for ranking.


Google's new guide indicates that: From crisis information systems to page experience


Google constantly carries out minor updates for the ranking systems, so that they are subject to continuous changes. Core updates and the like are only the tip of the iceberg. As a rule, however, SEOs and site operators can already achieve good rankings if they take the basics of search engine optimization to heart and optimize their content in line with Google's guidelines.

. However, one can quickly lose the overview when Google announces a Helpful Content Update, after previously focusing on the Page Experience Update, for example. Therefore, Google is creating more clarity from now on. The new "Guide to Google Search Ranking Systems" addresses all relevant ranking systems that Google uses automatically and with reference to various factors and signals


Thus, a whole range of systems is presented in the document. For example, BERT, the AI system that helps Google understand different intentions for different word combinations. But the guide also looks at so-called crisis information systems. These are technologies that recognize when searchers are in crisis situations. In this case, Google plays out content from trusted sources as well as appropriate hotlines or contact forms that respond to search queries for help in areas such as sexual assault, drug abuse, and the like. In cases of regional, national or international crises - such as the corona pandemic - Google uses SOS Alerts to display updates from relevant authorities.


Also of interest for SEOs: Freshness, deduplication, and exact match


The guide also contains information about the systems that deal with duplication. Duplicate content should always be avoided. But even if content is only similar and can be found on different websites, Google provides as different results as possible for search queries in the SERPs in order to make the articles varied and helpful for searchers. With the help of the matching system, Google also ensures that a source whose content lands in a Featured Snippet does not appear again in the organic results on the same page.


It should also be interesting for site operators to know that Google does not place too much emphasis on domain names that try to be oriented towards relevant keywords. A name like "best-places-to-eat-lunch" will therefore not be ranked better just because it corresponds to a popular search query.


In the area of freshness, on the other hand, Google uses various topicality systems to display more up-to-date content for search queries where this would be expected. For example, if someone searches for a movie that has just been released, the person probably wants recent reviews and not older articles from when production began.





All in all, Google deals with various ranking systems in the guide, and also refers to already obsolete systems such as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, for example, or to new developments such as MUM.





These ranking systems are listed with additional information and further links:


  • BERT

  • Crisis information systems

  • Deduplication systems

  • the Exact Match Domain system

  • Freshness systems

  • the Helpful Content System

  • Link analysis systems and PageRank

  • Local news systems

  • MUM

  • Neural Matching

  • Original content systems

  • Distance-based downgrading systems

  • the Page Experience System

  • the Passage Ranking System

  • the Product Reviews System

  • RankBrain

  • reliable information systems

  • the Site Diversity System

  • spam detection systems


These obsolete systems are listed:


  • Hummingbird

  • Mobile-friendly ranking system

  • Page Speed system

  • Panda System

  • Penguin system

  • Secure Sites System


Google provides these other resources for ranking systems


In addition to the new guide around all relevant ranking systems, Google provides a number of sources that offer SEOs and site operators further important information around the ranking and optimization potential for their own content. These are the following sources:


  • A list of all current ranking updates (including roll-out and completion dates)

  • An information page on core updates and their effects (you can read more about this in our detailed article)

  • A detailed information page about the Helpful Content Update (you can find more context about this in our article)

  • A help page about Product Reviews Updates (you can read more about the effects in our analysis)

  • An information page for Spam Updates (the most recent Spam Update rolled out by Google in October 2022)



With the help of all these sources and the focus on the relevant basics, measurable success in SEO can already be achieved.


If you want to start one step earlier and improve your own page first, you can refer to the revised guidelines for page owners that Google recently published.


Check out the original adaptation here



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