10 March 2024

Changes to Google Search results over the last five years

Over the past five years, Google search results have undergone several significant changes and updates. Some key trends and developments include:

1. Algorithm Updates: Google regularly updates its search algorithms to improve the quality and relevance of search results. Updates like BERT, RankBrain, and the Core Updates have aimed to better understand user queries and provide more accurate and helpful results.

2. Mobile-First Indexing: Google has increasingly prioritized mobile-friendly websites in its search results. With the rollout of mobile-first indexing, websites optimized for mobile devices tend to perform better in search rankings.

3. Featured Snippets and Rich Results: Google has expanded the use of featured snippets, knowledge panels, and rich snippets in search results, providing users with quick answers and more context directly in the search results page.

4. Local Search and Google My Business: Local search results have become more prominent, especially for queries with local intent. Google My Business has become crucial for local businesses to appear in local search results and Google Maps.

5. E-A-T and Expertise: Google has emphasized expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) as important factors for website rankings, particularly for content related to health, finance, and other sensitive topics.

6. User Experience and Page Experience Update: Google announced the Page Experience Update, which integrates user experience metrics, such as Core Web Vitals, into its ranking criteria. This emphasizes the importance of providing a good user experience on websites.

7. Privacy and Security: Google has prioritized the security and privacy of users by encouraging the adoption of HTTPS and penalizing websites without secure connections. Additionally, the BERT update aimed to better understand user intent while maintaining privacy.

8. Video and Image Search: Google has improved its video and image search capabilities, providing users with more diverse and relevant content formats in search results.

These changes reflect Google’s ongoing efforts to enhance the search experience for users by delivering more relevant, diverse, and trustworthy results across various devices and content formats.