Google’s Danny Sullivan explains how changes to search results are implemented in his latest article on the Google Search blog.
Google has been busy making changes, the article reveals, as over 3,200 changes were made to its search systems last year alone.
Contrary to what some believe, Google does not make manual changes to search results.
“As we’ve said many times in the past, we do not take the approach of manually intervening on a particular search result to address ranking challenges.
“This is for a variety of reasons. We receive trillions of searches each year, so “fixing” one query doesn’t improve the issue for the many other variations of the same query or help improve search overall.”
Instead of making manual changes to individual queries, Google makes algorithmic changes that automatically apply to a broad range of similar searches.
This is how Google approaches all changes to its search systems:
- Identify areas of improvement
- Come up with a solution
- Rigorously test said solution
- Determine whether the solution provides overall positive benefits
- Launch the change in search results
When testing changes to search results, Google relies on insights from live experiments and data from human search rater evaluations.
The change must provide a net positive in order for Google to roll it out – meaning a large number of search results are made more helpful without any significant losses in other areas.
Unlike correcting search features like knowledge panels, which can happen immediately, making changes to organic search results takes time.
“… sometimes identifying the root cause of ranking issues can take time, and improvements may not happen immediately.. But as we have been for more than 20 years, we are always committed to identifying these challenges and working to make Search better.”
For more information about how Google makes changes to search results, see the full article here.