Google recently published a comprehensive document on the Google Search Central Developers Blog. This document chronicles the evolution of notable ranking systems throughout Google’s history, including those still actively employed and others that have either been phased out or integrated into other ranking algorithms. This resource offers valuable insights into the inner workings of Google’s search ecosystem. It is an invaluable guide for anyone aiming to enhance their Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings. Think of it as a blueprint rather than a mere list, as Google has thoughtfully provided detailed explanations for many of these systems, making them easily understandable. In the following section, we have compiled all the ranking systems listed by Google, highlighting those currently in use and those that have been retired. You can read all about it on the Google Search Central page here.
A List of Current Google Ranking Systems
BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers): BERT is an AI system that aids Google in comprehending the various meanings and intentions behind diverse combinations of search queries.
Crisis Information Systems: These systems assist Google in delivering timely information during crises, encompassing personal crises, natural disasters, and other widespread emergency scenarios.
Deduplication Systems: Google employs these systems to display the most pertinent web pages among duplicates or highly similar content, ensuring a clutter-free search experience.
Exact Match Domain System: This system factors in words present in the domain name when assessing query relevance, helping determine if the content is suitable and valuable to the searcher.
Freshness System: This system ensures that Google presents up-to-date content in search results wherever timeliness is expected and warranted.
Helpful Content System: Among the latest and most significant systems, this system continues to evolve and aids Google in spotlighting original, valuable content created by people, for people, in search results.
Link Analysis Systems and PageRank: These systems assist Google in deciphering page connections, content relevance, and user-centric significance, refining the search experience.
Local News Systems: These systems enable Google to identify Top Stories and Local News sources, ensuring pertinent news is highlighted when needed.
MUM (Multitask Unified Model): MUM is an AI system capable of understanding and generating language utilized to provide information about COVID-19 Vaccines.
Neural Matching: This AI system empowers Google to grasp concepts within search queries before matching them with the most pertinent pages.
Original Content Systems: As the name implies, these systems aid Google in ensuring search results predominantly feature original and relevant content.
Removal-based Demotion System: This system addresses valid copyright removal requests and exploitative personal information practices, allowing Google to act appropriately.
Page Experience System: This system prioritizes pages that load swiftly, are mobile-friendly, lack intrusive interstitials, and are served securely in search results.
Passage Ranking System: Another AI system enables Google to assess specific sections or passages of a page for relevance to the query.
Product Reviews System: This system rewards high-quality product reviews written by experts based on thorough analysis, personal usage, and original research.
RankBrain: An additional AI system, RankBrain helps Google predict the relationship between search queries and concepts, even when certain words are missing, to provide top-quality results.
Reliable Information Systems: These systems allow Google to demote low-quality pages and showcase authoritative sources with trustworthy content in search results.
Site Diversity Systems: Google employs these systems to avoid showing multiple pages from the same website in search results, ensuring diversity and fairness in rankings.
Spam Detection System: Google has implemented multiple Spam Detection Systems and policies to prevent websites that violate Google’s Guidelines from gaining an unfair advantage in search results.
A List of Retired Google Ranking Systems
In addition to the currently active ranking systems, Google has also provided a list of retired ranking systems that have either been phased out entirely or integrated into other ranking mechanisms. These retired systems include:
- Mobile-friendly Ranking System
- Page Speed System
- Panda System
- Penguin System
- Secure Sites System
Furthermore, you can comprehensively explore some of the most pivotal updates and algorithms in Google’s history over the past decade. This detailed account offers fascinating insights into the evolution of Google’s search landscape, encompassing valuable knowledge on preparing for algorithm updates and strategies for recovering from them.
You can read about it here.