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How does Google Rank Search Results? - [18 Major Findings]

Updated: Aug 12

how does google rank search results - [how does google rank pages] - [google ranking systems]
Photo by Anete Lusina [Pexels]

How does Google Rank Search Results? - [Google Search Ranking System]:

Wondering how does Google rank pages? what Google ranking systems are in place?

Over the years, Google has shared information about its automated ranking systems in various blog posts and articles including public communications.

Now, they are making it easier to learn those in a single place by releasing their New Guide To Google Search Ranking Systems vide their official announcement on Nov 21, 2022, which is highly useful for webmasters and content producers or creators.

How does Google Rank Search Results?:

Google Search Ranking Systems [18 Major Findings from New Guide]:

The key findings that I personally believe are [significant to you] are shared here after reading the entire New Guide to Google Search Rankings Systems;

If you feel the need to do so, you may view it at the end of this blog post and be prepared for the future for achieving the best search results.

In order to help you better grasp these findings, I have made every effort to keep it as simple as possible.

How Does Google Search Ranking Work? - [Google Ranking Systems]:

1. Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers [BERT]:

An AI system Google uses to understand how combinations of words express different meanings and intent.

2. Deduplication systems:

Unhelpful duplication is avoided by only showing the most relevant results.

If a web page listing is elevated to become a featured snippet, it will not be repeated on the first page of results later on.

This process helps people locate relevant information more easily and removes clutter from the results.

3. Exact match domain system:

Avoids giving too much credit for content hosted under domains designed to match specific queries.

4. Freshness systems:

Shows fresh content based on the queries.

5. Helpful content system:

It lets people see original, helpful content written by people, for people, rather than content made to gain search engine traffic in search results.

6. Link analysis systems and PageRank:

PageRank is one of Google’s core ranking systems that is used since Google launched.

A variety of systems are used to determine what pages are about and which ones might be most helpful in responding to queries, based on the way pages link to one another.

7. Multitask Unified Model [MUM]:

An AI system is capable of both understanding and generating language. It's not used for general ranking in searches at present.

8. Neural matching:

An AI system to match representations of concepts in queries and pages.

9. Original content systems:

Ensures that original content is given priority in search results, including original reporting, by ensuring that those who merely cite it are shown behind it.

Can Google remove search results?

10. Removal based demotion systems:

It allows certain content to be removed from legal and personal information perspectives, and it demotes the site’s other content in search results.

11. Page experience system:

Helps give preference to content with a better page experience based on a variety of criteria such as how quickly pages load, mobile-friendliness, if pages lack intrusive interstitials, and if pages are served in a secure fashion.

While page experience is still important, Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, even if the page experience is subpar.

Great page experience doesn't override having great page content. However, in instances where there are multiple pages that may be similar in relevance, page experience can be much more important for visibility in search results.

Page experience system signals [search ranking algorithm]
Image Source - Google Search Central

12. Passage ranking system:

An AI system is used to identify individual passages or sections of a web page to better understand how relevant a page is to a search query.

13. Product reviews system:

Rewards high-quality product reviews, content that provides insightful analysis and original research, and writing by experts or enthusiasts who are knowledgeable about the topic.

14. Rank Brain:

An AI system that helps better understand the relationship between words and concepts, so that, more relevant content is shown or returned even if it doesn't contain all the words used in a search.

15. Reliable information systems:

Provide users with the highest-quality information possible, by showing more reliable pages and demoting low-quality content, as well as by elevating quality journalism.

If there is a lack of reliable content information, systems show or display content advisories automatically.

16. Site diversity system:

Ensures that not showing more than two [2] web page listings from the same site are in the top search results, further ensuring that no single site dominates all the top results.

However, may still be displayed more than two listings in situations where such systems determine that it is especially suitable for a specific search query.

17. Spam detection systems:

That includes SpamBrain which deals with content and behaviors that deviate from or violate the spam policies of Google Search.

Spam threats constantly evolve in new ways, and these systems are constantly updated to keep up with them.

18. Related Significant Google Ranking Factors:

[those integrated into various successor systems or made part of core ranking systems]


A major improvement to overall ranking systems [August 2013]. There has been continued evolution of ranking systems since then, just as there had been before.

Mobile-friendly ranking system:

Preference to content that rendered better on mobile devices [among many possible matches] and this system is incorporated into the page experience system.

Page speed system:

Announced in 2018. Content that loads faster for mobile users would do better in mobile search results and is part of a page experience system.

Panda system:

Announced in 2011 and becoming part of the core ranking systems in 2015, that ensures high-quality and original content appears in search results.

Penguin system:

Announced in 2012. Designed to combat link spam and integrated into core ranking systems in 2016.

Secure sites system:

Announced in 2014 and is part of the page experience system. Encourages the use of HTTPS to make sites secure.

Here is a related new insight I read recently:

"In the absence of official confirmation, we can only speculate about the likelihood that TW-BERT is a part of Google’s search ranking algorithm" - Search Engine Journal

Also, don't forget to check Google Search Essentials which is required for your path to success with Google Search.

Finally, it is my hope that these insights or findings might be useful for you to make better decisions while creating content that aims at search objectives and be prepared for the future.

Also, if interested to read the complete New Guide to Google Search Ranking Systems, you may access it here.

Here's related information that you may find helpful - 29 Key Findings Data from the State of Link Building 2022 Report that might help to strengthen your SEO skills and marketing decisions.

P.S: Visit Digital Marketing Forum that answers [most un-answered] questions.

P.S.S: Please don’t forget to forward this blog post to your network so they can get the best tips, practices, strategies, education, resources, and tools to help their businesses grow.

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