Search Engine Algorithm Updates

This page is a running log of Google, Bing, Yandex, and any other noticeable search engine algorithm updates reported. Please drop me a line on if you have seen anything interesting of late.

25 Oct 2019 – BERT Natural Language Update

  • 1 in 10 queries will be affected which means a massive impact
  • Affects complicated queries that depends on context, i.e. location, history, chained queries
  • Focus on natural language parsing (i.e. serious application of deep learning)
  • Stopwords will have meaning (i.e. ‘for’, ‘to’, ‘near’)
  • Likely to affect any site which has poorly written content OR very limited content (i.e. fashion brands that mostly deliver visual information)
  • Signals better understanding of dialectical word use (i.e. regional or non-standard use of words)
  • First time Google is using its TPU (Tensor Processing Units) for search results rather than in research applications

Write-ups from:


BERT stands for “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers”, underscoring the machine learning used for this. More about this algo here:

12 March 2019 – Google 3/12 Broad Core

Broad algorithm update with no specific niche impact. Google indicates this is a large core update, but as with all these updates there is nothing to ‘fix’ if your site lost rankings apart from improving the quality of content on the website.

Webmaster forum feedback indicates the update ‘rolls back’ several previous updates, and sites punished by those are re-gaining traffic. Looks like fine-tuning of various quality and relevance factors weighted to heavily when launched. It also looks like sites with poor quality content and/or links stay on a downward trend.

Google officially refers to the update as March 2019 Core Updateand it’s also been nicknamed Florida 2, but has no connection to the long-ago Florida 1 update.

More at Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal