Did you know there is a brand-new, centralized guide for the Google Search ranking system? For years, it’s felt like marketers, business owners, and advertisers were trying desperately to keep up with the latest and greatest Google search best practices. From the launch of Google AMP for faster mobile performance to Featured Snippets quickly delivering exactly what users are looking for to different search results based on a user’s location, there’s been a lot of change to Google search over the last few years. With 8.5 billion searches happening on Google per day, it’s essential for Google to quickly and clearly share updates with creators, developers, business owners, and more.
As of November 2022, Google released a brand-new guide to everything related to search rankings, titled “Introducing our new guide to Google Search ranking systems.” This new guide aims to centralize everything search-related and clearly differentiates between new products and standard updates.
What is This New Guide?
Previously, when Google released updates, it typically meant a new system, like the page experience update that announced Google’s rollout, plan, and timeline and gave business owners and publishers a heads up of the changes coming. For example, this update specifically brought to light the new Core Web Vitals of LCP, FID, and CLS. However, sometimes, the wording of this terminology was confusing and didn’t clearly let Google customers know what was being released.
Now, going forward, Google will be more precise with its wording, and this new guide will be the home base for all related help pages.
This guide joins other new pages released this year, like the pages listed below:
- List of Google Search Ranking Updates — This is a list of all the relevant search ranking changes and updates in one spot.
- Google Search’s Core Updates — This page explains any updates to Google’s core ranking system. Several times a year, Google makes significant changes to how it ranks pages, which helps create more reliable search results for users. You can also visit this page for the latest best practices and recommendations from Google.
- Google’s Helpful Content Update — This page helps explain what helpful content is and how website owners can improve their sites. Google deems some content “helpful,” which generates a unique signal to its automated ranking system, ensuring users are seeing original, valuable content written by real human beings, not “SEO stuffing.” Websites that are deemed to have high levels of “unhelpful” content are not prioritized in search rankings. Google encourages websites to write for people, not search rankings.
- Google Search Product Reviews Update — 88% of consumers read reviews before buying a product, so this helpful page from Google centralizes everything product-review related for users. Google encourages users to write in-depth valuable reviews of a fewer number of products, rather than quick, surface-level reviews of many different products. This page shares information on how Google rewards in-depth, helpful review sites and how to write high-quality review content.
- Google Search Spam Updates — Spam is an unfortunate but realistic part of searching on Google. This page details significant improvements to Google’s automated spam detection systems. For example, it shares info about SpamBrain, Google’s AI-based spam prevention system that’s always detecting new types of spam.
- Google Search Essentials (formerly Webmaster Guidelines) — A basic page for everything search, this guide is an excellent starting point for a user wanting to quickly learn the ins and outs of ranking high on Google Search. It shares details on technical requirements, spam policies, and key best practices.
How Should Website Owners Use This New Information?
With Google constantly making updates to how it ranks pages, it’s important for website owners to stay on top of the latest best practices. When your website gets outdated and slow, Google stops favoring it in search, bumping down all your hard work on SEO. Also, as more and more users use mobile every day, they become accustomed to a certain level of speed, responsiveness, and simple user interface on websites. Having a great user experience keeps visitors returning to your site, staying for a long time, and even linking to your website pages for reference.
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