Google on Monday released the number of changes it made last year to its search platform. And the number might surprise some.
There were 3,200 changes made just to its search platform. Some of the examples include featured snippets, Knowledge Panels, and predictive features like Autocomplete aimed at navigating search more quickly.
“Our search algorithms are complex math equations that rely on hundreds of variables,” according to Google. “Some of these [changes] were visible launches of new features, while many others were regular updates meant to keep our results relevant as content on the web changes.”
The changes varied, with some focused on improvements based on issues that developers identified through public reports of the company’s own evaluations. Sometimes identifying the root cause of ranking issues can take time, and improvements may not happen immediately.
These changes area based on “trillions of searches each year.” Fixing one issue in a query might trigger an issue in another area. There are many variations of the same query that can help improve search overall.
The blog post goes on to explain how Google keeps search relevant and useful. One of the main features, of course, is organic listings and the ranking of results, which are determined through algorithms and without human intervention.
The automated systems quickly find content in Google’s index from the hundreds of billions of pages processed and linked by using technology that can crawl the web based on the words used in individual search queries.
To rank these, Google’s technology takes into account a number of factors to determine which pages are likely to be the most helpful for what you’re looking for. More information is available here, which describes how search works.