Many years ago we created an infographic about how search works, from the perspective of a content creator, starting with their content & following it through the indexing & ranking process. As users have shifted to mobile devices, the limited screen size of the devices have pushed search engines to squeeze out & displace publishers with their own self - hosted information.
From its earliest days, Google's core search algorithm offered the most relevant and most organic search results quickly and accurately on a simple site with an iconic logo that has now become synonymous with the search giant's business. Searching amidst the world's vast data, Google cleverly cataloged and categorized pages using its PageRank formula, which assessed the quantity and power of links to any given webpage. For a few years, Google's search worked seamlessly, repeatedly predicting the most relevant search results every single time, again and again. In fact, it was so good that it sent shockwaves through the internet, digitally obliterating its rivals over time. However, as Google's clever search engine grew into a colossus corporation, and both individuals and businesses realized the inherent power of appearing organically at the top of any search, things began to change.
The changes occurred at the behest of some unscrupulous characters who were hell-bent on gaming the system. With so much money at stake, do you really blame them? Once they learned the majority of the rules, they began poking and prodding Google's innards by building massive link farms and content farms, spinning low-quality articles, and auto-generating links in an effort to outgun other listings and secure the top spots on Google's lucrative Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
As a result, Google introduced several now-infamous adjustments to its algorithm that went by the names of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, just to name a few. As the less-than-savory characters began dominating Google's search by supposedly gaming the system, Google had to act or risk losing its relevancy. These algorithm adjustments were intended to both weed out the spoofs and scammers, while also fine-tuning its semantic search.