Google Algorithm Updates

Google update: what’s the latest?

27 Nov 2023|3 MIN READ

With updates coming left, right, and centre from Google in recent months, it’s no surprise if you’ve been struggling to keep up. After announcing a number of closely related updates, Google is certainly up to something.

So, what does it all mean? There’s no denying that these updates have been designed to deliver more relevant and tailored results. According to Cathy Edwards, Vice President of Search at Google:

“Search has always been about connecting human curiosity with the incredible expanse of human wisdom on the web. These improvements will help users find the most helpful information just for them, no matter how specific their question may be.”

We caught up with our Search Experts here at Pi Datametrics to get the latest on Google’s updates

Prioritising first-person perspectives

First up, Google brought the perspectives filter to desktop search, meaning searchers can choose to see content from social media platforms and other forums within search results – as well as an individual creator’s social handle, follower count, and the popularity of their content.

Expanding the “Perspectives” feature suggests that content demonstrating first-hand experience will be prioritised in search rankings – making it easier for searchers to connect directly with the experience, advice, and opinions of those with first-hand knowledge.

Google Perspectives Filter

At Pi, we’ve been encouraging content creators to bring first-hand experience into their content for a while, and in this move from Google, first-hand experience and perspectives will be served directly to the searcher in the results.

Follow for a tailored search experience

Google continued to push the idea of a more “tailored search experience” by rolling out a new “follow” button.

Now, searchers can follow topics they’re interested in – curating their search results (or Discover feed) with useful information they care about.

After a searcher clicks “follow”, Google may display a box that says “New for you” that has perspectives from others on that topic.

To start with, this feature will be rolling out in US English results the Google app and mobile search.

Google's new follow button

Google has been toying with the personalisation of search results for many years but this move marks a significant step towards the ultimate and eventual personalisation of results.

Notes: a helpful layer of human insight?

Google is testing another new feature in Search Labs, called “Notes”. The ability to attach notes to a specific search result or item in Discover was introduced by Google to help searchers learn from the experiences of others and offer a “helpful layer of human insight to each search result.

According to Google, it’s not always clear if a particular piece of content will be helpful or not. So now, searchers who opt-in will be able to read notes others have made about those particular items. In Google’s own words:

“Often, the best place to find answers to your most specific questions is with someone who’s been in your shoes before. Notes are designed to work hand-in-hand with existing content on the web, adding a new layer of human insights to your search results.”

Notes provide access to helpful tips about an article or topic from experts and the everyday person – allowing searchers to narrow in on the most relevant information and hear first-hand the experiences of other people.

One to watch: new SGE ad format

It appears Google has been testing a new ad format that’s been seen in the SGE when a follow-up question is asked.

The sponsored content appears as a carousel of products with the title “You may also like”. Included in these results, each item in the carousel contains the product title, image, and company name.

SGE ad format

The sponsored content, still obviously in the testing phase, only seems to be surfacing after follow-up questions are asked; thereby appearing as the ‘conversation’ progresses.

Our Search Experts will be keeping a close eye on how this rolls out, you can stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter.

Major changes to search ranking

As Google continues to strive towards cleaning up the SERP and providing searchers with the best possible experience, could major changes be coming to Google’s search ranking algorithms?

Danny Sullivan, Google’s Search Liaison, made a recent announcement at BrightonSEO in San Diego:

“There’s so much coming on and I don’t want to say buckle up because that makes you freak out because if you’re doing good stuff, it’s not going to be an issue to you.”

But, isn’t this always the case?

The level of personalisation that the updates highlighted above will bring to search seems monumental enough. And this doesn’t even cover the changes that a full rollout of the SGE will have on the entire Google experience.

So it certainly does seem fair to say “buckle up” – never has it been more exciting to be involved in search!

And in the meantime? The most important thing to maintain is adherence to relevant updates and algorithms; pay close attention to quality signals in the form of E-E-A-T and wait for the official announcements as they inevitably appear.

We’ll be sure to keep all of our customers and readers informed – watch this space!

Keep up to date on all the latest updates from Google via our Google Algorithm Update page.

Or why not follow our Search Experts on LinkedIn for live updates?

Jon Earnshaw – Chief Product Evangelist
Vanesha Ramsamy – Success & Search Strategist
Silvia Collado – Senior SEO Manager
Emily Walton – SEO Manager

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