Google’s organic search engine algorithm is made up of a lot of different search engine ranking factors. When it comes to certain search queries, not all of those search engine ranking factors are applied. In other words, Google may apply certain parts of their algorithm to certain keyword queries and might disregard other parts for other keywords. In a recent post at the SEM Post, one Google employee indirectly verified that this is the case.
Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, said this recently in a discussion related to Google’s RankBrain:
“The way I interpret his meaning, if you look at a slew of search results, and sort of open up the debugger to see what has come into play for such-and-such a query, for such-and-such a page, some things pop up more or less often, so certain elements of the algorithm come into play for fewer or more pages in fewer or more cases.”
Google has internal debugger tool that shows which Google algorithms (or part of their algorithm) are coming into play for specific search queries. When it comes to RankBrain, Google’s new machine learning technology, it may only be used when certain search queries are used by users and Google hasn’t seen that search query recently or have ever seen it. However, for other search queries, Google may not use RankBrain at all because (my speculation is) they don’t need it to display good search results.
Sometimes we get so caught up with Google’s changing algorithms and we try to figure out what they’re using right now and how we can optimize our sites…we forget simple things like this.
We should think of Google’s search engine algorithm and how it’s made up of all sorts of puzzle pieces. For certain search queries, Google uses certain pieces of that puzzle. For other search queries, they use a whole other set of puzzle pieces.