The ultimate guide on Google’s algorithms An overview of SMITH

Authored by Mohit Bohra, SEO Executive, BC Web Wise

Google, the world's leading search engine is the go-to destination for users for various purposes be it seeking answers to queries, gathering information, or online shopping. The stature that it enjoys today is due to its innovative approach and regular updates in its algorithms to provide the most relevant results to its users. This is the reason why this global leader of search engines updates its search algorithm several thousand times in a year and is extremely transparent and honest about it.

In the majority of the cases, the algorithm updates are minute and often go unnoticed. However, once in a blue moon, Google introduces noticeable changes that become a fundamental part of its working and bring about considerable disruptions in the SEO strategy for a long period of time. 

With the ultimate aim to enhance the user experience, Google uses various algorithm types ranging from Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Mobile, to Rank Brain, Medic, Bert, and SMITH.

Understanding these complicated technicalities can be tough for someone from a non-technical background. Hence, here we share a simplified version of these techie concepts so that you can comprehend them easily and quickly-

Panda Algorithm

In early 2011, Google launched Panda update, a search result algorithm that helps in filtering out websites with irrelevant and low-quality content. With this launch, Google kick-started its algorithm series that focus on quality controls and help keep a check on the same.

Google Panda enhances the SERPs as it scans all the poorly developed websites, and portals consisting of potential spam content and helps in bringing the high-end relevant websites to the top.

Penguin Algorithm

Google Penguin update was launched on April 24, 2012, which deals with a website's incoming links and works with the sole aim to decrease the ranking of websites that do not adhere to Google webmaster guidelines.

Back then it was indeed the need of the hour for Google to safeguard Google SERP from low-quality content sites. It had been experiencing an increase in manipulative search results and rankings via black hat link-building techniques.

Hence Penguin algorithm came into existence as a solution to resolve this operational issue. The main objective of this update was to gain control over the search process and optimally reduce the effectiveness of black hat spamming techniques.

Hummingbird Algorithm

Launched on 22nd August 2013, the Hummingbird algorithm was developed with an aim to detect and filter out websites with low-quality content and unnecessary keyword stuffing. This algorithm helps Google improvise its search results and provides outcomes that are relevant and of good quality.

Mobile Algorithm

Mobile Algorithm was launched by Google on 21st April 2015. Ever since its inception, the update has brought a shift in customer usage from that of a desktop to the mobile version of the website and has also enhanced their web experience. 

This version has significantly gained prominence and in the present times, Google ranks all the websites based on their speed and mobile-friendly user feature

Rank Brain Algorithm

Google launched Rank Brain Algorithm on 26th October 2015 with the primary objective to upscale its SERP by filtering out websites with shallow content and poor designing which still make it to the top in the search.

It is a part of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm and works to improvise its SERP and provide good quality websites catering to the user’s search criteria.

Medic Algorithm

Medic Algorithm was launchedby the search engine on 4th May 2018. While various SEO specialists have been referring to it as ‘query intent update’, Google representatives have been dropping hints about this version making use of E-A-T (expertise, authority, trust) signals from the Quality Rater Guidelines document.

This update has a direct impact on websites especially the ones focused on health, finance, law, and education that have sensitive content and possess the capability to enforce life-altering decisions. Via this version, Google aims to thoroughly answer the user queries along with providing the authority the flexibility to resolve those queries honestly and in an unbiased fashion.

BERT Algorithm

BERT Algorithm was introduced on 22nd October 2019 to devalue the ranking of the websites which have low-quality content.

It uses natural language processing technology to improve the quality of the search queries, interpret text, identify entities and relationships between entities and provide the search results matching the needs of the user.

Broad Core Algorithm Update

The broad Core algorithm is a refurbished version of the main algorithm of Google and is used to understand user's search queries and websites in a better manner. This update helps Google accurately match the search queries and improvise the search results accordingly.

Named as December 2020 update, it is the third version after the January and May update of 2020 and focuses on lowering the ranking of websites with low-quality content and poor backlinks. The broad Core algorithm alters the way in which certain ranking factors are weighed and interact with one another and works with an aim to provide superior quality and relevant results for user queries and searches.

SMITH Algorithm ( SEO Algorithm 2021 )

Google recently published a research paper mentioning about the recent addition to its algorithm family, SMITH which is an acronym for Siamese Multi-depth Transformer-based Hierarchical (SMITH) Encoder.

This update has been developed specifically to understand passages within the long document. While the operational model of SMITH is somewhere similar to that of BERT, Google claims that it outperforms the latter when it comes to understanding long queries and scanning detailed documents.

Is Google using SMITH Algorithm?

Google has never directly revealed about the type of algorithms that it uses.

While no technology enthusiast can provide a clear response to this frequently asked question- if Google is using the SMITH algorithm; various researchers do state that the SMITH algorithm outperforms the BERTupdate. The experts also share that the search engine is using pre-training models (algorithm trained on a data set) which is similar to BERT along with many other algorithms. However, it is tough to gauge whether Google is using SMITH or an updated algorithm or not.

We hope this piece will was able to bring clarity about various Google algorithms and their working and we were able to resolve your SEO and ranking-related queries!

 DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. 


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