NIX Solutions: SERP Essential Updates in 2021

Google periodically improves the ranking algorithms and major search engine features to boost the performance and improve SERP in general. These changes called Core Algorithm Updates are aimed at enhancing the way Google search engine evaluates the content and increasing the relevance of search results for the user.

Striving to deliver the best digital solutions to the customers, NIX Solutions experts keep themselves constantly up-to-date on the latest developments and Google innovations. Their explanation of the key points of the new core updates is listed below.

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User Intent

User Intent is a specific purpose for which a user enters a keyword into a search engine. The key phrase is a kind of intermediary between the user and the search engine. However, it only indirectly reflects the intentions of the user and the purpose of searching for information. All keywords that allow evaluating the intent are usually divided into 3 categories:

  • Informational. The user needs any kind of information.
  • Navigational. A person is looking for a specific resource or group of resources.
  • Transactional. These queries are used when a person wants to perform an action (download, buy, etc).

So, each user, when entering a query into a search engine, pursues certain goals. User Intent, i.e. user objectives, determines the list of sites offered in the search engine results. The prerequisites for taking into account the user’s intent delivering the most accurate information are the changes that appeared in the Google search algorithm.

Now NIX solutions pros are talking not only about texts with the necessary number of targeted keywords but also about the development of pages containing exact data relevant to the search query. In addition, meta descriptions and titles became not as essential as they were before, as Google more count on artificial intelligence to deliver search results that truly match a user’s search intent.

Behavioral Analytics

The new update pays even more attention to user’s behavior. Behavioral factors can be divided into two types: external and internal.

External ones include the actions of users in search results:

  • Site click-through rate. The number of visits to the site from the search results page. The indicator tells whether the site is relevant to the query and whether its snippet is attractive in the SERP.
  • Satisfaction with the answer. An indicator that is based on three main factors: the relevance of pages to the search queries, the quality of information, and usability. If a searcher visits a site that meets all three criteria, most likely they will find all the information they need, satisfy their search needs, and will not go to another site.

Internal factors include the actions of visitors directly on the site. The main ones are:

  • Website traffic. A metric that shows the number of website visitors, the number of pages viewed, and the time spent on them.
  • Depth of view. It is characterized by the number of pages viewed by the user during one session.
  • Dwell-time. The amount of time the user spent on the site in a session. The better and more relevant the resource, the more time they will spend on it. Accordingly, this indicator will also grow.
  • Bounce rate. A metric that shows as a percentage how many users left the site without going to its other pages (of the total number of visitors).

Natural Language Processing

A recent SERP update is Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) that uses natural language processing. BERT is considered one of the most significant changes made by Google in the past five years. It aims to display more relevant results by correctly interpreting complex, long-tail search queries even if the initial query contains errors.


NIX Solutions specialists note that a switch from classical rank factors to understanding the user’s intent is the key point of the latest updates. Also, such features like zero-click answers, local listings, and AR are developing at a fast pace, clearly indicating the vector of Google’s evolution in the future. For example, Google announced support for 3D content and augmented reality in SERP almost 2 years ago. Since that time, the list of various living and non-living objects available for viewing in AR (for example, animals, human body systems, cultural objects, and landmarks) has been significantly replenished with new search requests.