Google Hidden Gems Ranking Algorithm Update

Nov 16, 2023 • 7:51 am | comments (269) by | Filed Under Google Search Algorithm Updates

Google Hidden Gems Algorithm

Google announced the hidden gems ranking system or update has been rolling out. This hidden gems update helps promote content deep within forum posts, social media, and blog posts that Google Search thinks provide authentic content based on personal insights and experiences.

It's Been Live For Months

In fact, Google told me this started to roll out as part of core updates a few months ago and this is not part of the helpful content update. This is weird because Google told me less than a month ago that it was not live (maybe it was not live as part of the helpful content update?). What Danny Sullivan wrote back then was "This work is still continuing and is not part of this particular update. We’ll share more about our work in this area in the future." So while we all interpreted that it was not live yet, it didn't necessarily mean that.

Not Part Of The Helpful Content Update

Let me be clear, despite what we originally were told and thought, this is not part of the helpful content update. This is its own ranking system, its own ranking algorithm, to find this type of content that Google considers "hidden gems." Google told me they did not incorporate this update within the helpful content update because "this goal worked better as improvements with our core ranking."

Google initially told us the hidden gems aspect would be part of a future helpful content update. That is not the case, Google's Brad Kellett, Senior Director on Google Search product and engineering, told me. This is its own algorithm, its own ranking system.

More On Hidden Gems

This aims at finding these hidden gems within forums, blog posts, social media and other places. It is not explicitly classifying something as a "gem," but instead the idea is that this type of content can be perceived as especially helpful and in the past, might have been harder to appear in results.

We initially thought this was already live but Google told us it was not live yet.

Google initially wrote, "Helpful information can often live in unexpected or hard-to-find places: a comment in a forum thread, a post on a little-known blog, or an article with unique expertise on a topic." So this seems to be related to that.

But again, this is part of the core updates not helpful content update.

Google told us this is a series of ranking improvements that have already rolled out, and are continuing to roll out. Google made it clear that this is not just one update but a series of ongoing updates.

Additional Insights From Google

I did ask about content vs authors and Danny answered it the same way to Lily Ray that he did to me:

And more about the core system versus helpful content system:

How will Google surface this content?

Forum discussion at X.

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