2019 was another big year for Google search algorithm updates. Year after year, we see the search engine giant refine itself to become more “user-centric”.
Google search ranking algorithms are a complex, versatile, and famously mysterious system that is constantly evolving to match the best results to search queries. Over the past year, we’ve seen many developments in how websites are ranked and queries are interpreted.
Most search algorithm updates went entirely undetected, while some shook the SEO community to its core. Whether it is in relation to “relevance”, “content quality”, or the perplexing concept of “E-A-T”, many digital strategies were forever changed in the past 12 months.
In this infographic, we’re going to go over seven of the most game-changing updates to Google’s search algorithms – and what they mean for 2020 and beyond!
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Here’s a timeline of some of the most impactful Google Search Algorithm changes and updates of 2019.
Each year, Google’s mysterious algorithms go through a huge number of tweaks, developments, and innovations to become more savvy to the human brain. Let’s see what Google has rolled out its algorithm updates for 2019.
1. Core Update (a.k.a. Florida 2) – March 12, 2019
This update was among the biggest updates rolled out by Google in years. Although through this update, Google did not target any particular niche or signal. Google said that the results of broad core updates would help it match search queries to webpages more accurately, thereby enhancing user satisfaction.
2. Deindexing Bug – April 5, 2019
When the de-indexing bug hit the internet, several websites claimed to be affected by it for a week. Finally, Google announced about fixing the issue after working on it for six days, without explaining what exactly went wrong or how much of the index was truly affected.
3. Indexing Bug – May 23, 2019
Websites that depend on updated content for traffic were most affected by this bug. Danny Sullivan of Google remarked, “I believe it’s related to picking up fresh content because as you saw from the reports, this we’re time-restricted.” He also said that this problem was different from the earlier indexing issue.
4. June 2019 Core Update – Jun 3, 2019
This update affected a large number of websites with SEO pros, publishers, site owners, and webmasters feeling the heat. The most noticeable effect of this update was a drop in organic website traffic during the first week of June (June 3 to June 8).
5. Site Diversity Update – June 6, 2019
The new Diversity update was rolled out to prevent the appearance of multiple search results from the same websites on the first page of Google search. Post this update, Google has said that sub-domains will be treated as part of the root domain in a bid to ensure that only one search result appears per domain.
6. Broad Core Algorithm update – September 24, 2019
Broad core updates occur several times in a year. Prior to this, there were updates in March and June. This one’s a non-specific update where Google alters an array of factors to improve search results. Broad core updates are not meant to punish websites, but only evaluate the content on them to check which is better.
7. BERT Algorithm Update – October 22, 2019
BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) from Transformers) has been introduced by Google to improve its understanding of queries, especially the longer spoken or written ones with prepositions. According to an announcement by Google in October, BERT would affect one in 10 queries. After applying BERT, Google is able to provide more relevant results.
8. Local Search Algorithm Update – November 2019
According to Google, November witnessed several fluctuations in organic search due to the rolling out of its November 2019 Local Search update. The search giant has said that webmasters need not make changes to their websites as this local search algorithm, which has a global impact across all languages, helps improve search based on user intent.
9. BERT Update Live for 70 Languages – December 9, 2019
Google officially announced the rolling out of BERT in search across 70 languages. In December, Google confirmed that its new language processing algorithm will attempt to comprehend words in relation to all the other words in a query. In a tweet, Google said, “BERT, our new way for Google Search to better understand language, is now rolling out to over 70 languages worldwide. It initially launched in Oct. for US English.”