Every year Google introduces many changes to their search algorithm. While most of them are minor, some of them are major changes which makes an impact on how search results are displayed to end users. To name, some of the major Google updates such as, Google Panda (released in 2011) stopped site with poor quality content from appearing on top results, Google Penguin (released in 2012), to catch spammers and those who buy links from various sources to improve SEO results and most importantly the Pigeon update (released in mid 2014) which promotes local listings, are some of the top changes that Google rolled out.

Today, I will discuss with you some of the most recent updates to search engine algorithm introduced by Google.

Google removed small site links from search listings (bug)

Small sitelinks often show up for high search volume queries, both branded and non-branded. You may not have noticed these — data suggests they are not commonly used by searchers. Recently, these site links stopped appearing in search results, which Google confirmed was a bug. The issue has reportedly been fixed as of early November.

Reduction in internal site links for branded searches

As of the most recent updates, Google will be showing less site links ( reduced from 6 to 4) for branded search results. This will increase CTR rates by as much as up to 300%.

Fake news to get priority over real content

Google’s search algorithm has been significantly changed over the last year to increasingly reward search results based on how likely you are to click on them. As a result, fake news now often outranks accurate reports on websites with better and quality content. Which allegedly made an impact during recent US Election.

It is well known that Google includes user-behaviour based signals to evaluate its ranking mechanism. It has an obvious interest in whether users like its search results. Its ranking engineers look at live traffic frequently to experiment with different algorithms.

User Behaviour to have an impact

The unfortunate side effect is that user-behaviour signals also reward fake news. Previously, Google’s ranking relied more heavily on how authoritative a page is, and how authoritative the incoming links to that page are. If a page at Cambridge University links to an article that is published by Oxford, Google would rank that information highly in its display of search results.

The Conclusion

Now, the ranking of a page can also be boosted by how often it’s clicked makes an impact on search results in many ways. Such as, think about this: the hotter the subject, the better CTR (Click Through Rate) is! Now whether most of these information are real or fake, it keeps up with the latest trend sometimes ignoring other facts such as whether it is likely to be true or not.

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