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7 takeaways from the SMX Subsequent keynote with Hyung-Jin Kim, VP Search at Google


It’s uncommon to listen to in regards to the inside workings of Google’s rankings, new merchandise and algorithm updates straight from the supply.

We had been fortunate to get that this morning at SMX Subsequent, as Hyung-Jin Kim, the VP of Search at Google, candidly shared some views in regards to the course of Google’s algorithms and the essential give attention to satisfying person intent.

From the significance of E-A-T to the historical past of Google updates, Kim shared many vital insights about how Google search works.

Listed here are seven of crucial takeaways from the SMX Subsequent keynote. 

1. The connection between site owners, SEOs, and Google is one in every of a partnership

SEOs don’t all the time have the very best status. It’s additionally widespread to listen to SEOs claiming that Google is towards them, notably when it rolls out main algorithm updates.

However in line with Kim, the connection between site owners, SEOs, and Google is extra of a “partnership.” All events are serious about bettering the expertise for the person (so long as you’re doing the kind of search engine optimisation Google recommends in its tips; not the type that instantly violates these tips!).

2. E-A-T is pervasive all through every thing Google does

When requested about whether or not E-A-T solely issues for particular queries – notably the queries Google refers to as YMYL (your cash, your life) – Kim acknowledged:

“E-A-T is a template for a way we charge a person website. We do it to each single question and each single outcome. It’s pervasive all through each single factor we do.”

Hyung-Jin Kim, VP of Search, Google, talking at SMX Subsequent 2022

Whereas Google’s high quality tips themselves point out that E-A-T issues extra relying on the character of the question (notably these queries that may trigger hurt to the person), Kim was clear that the function of E-A-T vastly issues throughout all queries. 

Because of this Google has more and more used the acronym “E-A-T” as synonymous with “good content material high quality” in so a lot of its communications in recent times. 

Curiously, Kim additionally famous that Google has been utilizing E-A-T for roughly 10-13 years, which dates it again to 2009-2013. Within the search engine optimisation group, we weren’t publicly made conscious of this idea till the 2014 model of the Search High quality Rater Tips, and the function of E-A-T didn’t begin to take the forefront of the search engine optimisation dialogue till about 2018. 

3. Google’s algorithm updates usually share the identical mission, however the expertise behind them has improved

By way of the objectives of main Google updates courting again to the Panda days, Kim indicated that the main target has largely been the identical: bettering the standard of outcomes for customers and elevating content material that greatest satisfies the searcher’s expertise.

Nevertheless, in line with Kim, essentially the most vital change with algorithm updates is the expertise behind them. 

Up to now 5-10 years, AI has considerably modified Google’s means to grasp what searchers are literally in search of, notably with using deep neural networks.

Kim provided an instance of how BERT enabled Google to higher perceive the question “jewellery for work.”

Earlier than BERT, Google confirmed outcomes associated to working within the jewellery trade. After BERT, the emphasis on the phrase “for” grew to become extra vital for Google to grasp the question, and it as an alternative surfaced outcomes associated to jewellery that’s applicable for work or jewellery that may stand up to onerous work.

4. First-hand expertise performs a key function in good content material

Kim described the significance of first-hand experience in evaluate content material, in step with a few of Google’s communications across the latest product critiques updates.

For example, when Kim appears for a brand new tennis racket, he likes to see content material that proves that the person has truly hung out with the merchandise and accomplished actual exams, versus regurgitating the specs discovered throughout many websites. 

This considering may be very a lot in step with what Google has just lately informed us about reviewing content material high quality with core, product critiques and useful content material updates. 

5. The Search High quality workforce is concentrated on math and metrics, however they’re additionally extremely empathetic

Kim talked about that the Search High quality workforce (which is accountable for how content material ranks on Google) depends closely on knowledge, math, and the most recent expertise to enhance rankings, however they’re additionally extremely empathetic.

Kim indicated that they are often skeptical of the information, and are extremely centered on the precise person expertise. Queries will be quick however significant, and it’s vital that rankings can replicate the precise intent behind the searcher’s question. 

Kim gave the instance of the question “melancholy.” Whereas it’s useful to indicate numerous informational outcomes about melancholy, this search question might additionally sign that the person is asking for assist – so Google believes it’s vital to show sources to assist the person within the outcomes.

6. Google algorithm updates purpose to enhance the general high quality of the net

Whereas SEOs like to consider algorithm updates in a vacuum and give attention to how they affect particular person websites, Kim supplied some context in regards to the function that the updates have in bettering the general high quality of the web.

Updates courting again to Panda – which is now included into the core algorithm – gave Google a strategy to mitigate the rise of content material farms and different spam techniques that create a worse expertise throughout the general internet.

Google is concentrated on bigger tendencies of find out how to make the web a greater place for customers. 

7. Extra visible search outcomes are on the horizon

When requested about the way forward for search engine optimisation, Kim rapidly talked about visible search – notably Multisearch.

Google has made vital developments in its means to grasp pictures and allow searchers to make use of pictures because the search question.

Kim believes this can be a big shift to go looking within the coming years, notably with Multisearch, which mixes picture and textual content queries.


Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor creator and never essentially Search Engine Land. Workers authors are listed right here.


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About The Creator

Lily Ray

Lily Ray is the Senior search engine optimisation Director and Head of Natural Analysis at Amsive Digital, the place she supplies strategic management for the company’s search engine optimisation shopper packages.

Born right into a household of software program engineers, internet builders and technical writers, Lily brings a powerful technical background, performance-driven habits and forward-thinking creativity to all packages she oversees.

Lily started her search engine optimisation profession in 2010 in a fast-paced start-up surroundings and moved rapidly into the company world, the place she helped develop and set up an award-winning search engine optimisation division that delivered high-impact work for a fast-growing checklist of notable purchasers, together with Fortune 500 firms. Lily has labored throughout quite a lot of verticals with a give attention to retail, ecommerce, B2B and CPG websites.

She loves diving into algorithm updates, analyzing E-A-T, assessing high quality points and fixing technical search engine optimisation mysteries. Lily leads an award-winning search engine optimisation workforce at Amsive Digital and enjoys sharing her findings and analysis with the broader search engine optimisation trade.

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