To be core, the algorithm needs to be consistent enough to run by itself without much worry that it won’t work right.
A week ago’s news that Panda is part of Google’s core ranking algorithm has gotten SEOs buzzing about what precisely being part of the core algorithmmeans. Presently, Google has shared some more info about that, saying that the algorithm is consistent enough to not require numerous changes in the future and can run with less hand-holding.
In a Q&A with Google’s Andrey Lipattsev, he spends a great amount of time clarifying the confusion around what it means to be part of the “core” algorithm, furthermore why it is difficult to sometimes define a Google update.
The video starts at around 8 minutes in, where Andrey Lipattsev, a search quality senior strategist at Google, said with respect to what core means:
It is less about the functionality, which means it perhaps doesn’t change that much over time, and it is more about how we perceive it, in the context of the algorithm. Do we still think this is an experimental thing, it is running for some time and we are not sure how long it will last? Or is it like PageRank, it is part of it, it will always be there, at least in the foreseeable future and then perhaps call it in certain context part of the core algorithm.
He likewise cites how Gary Illyes from Google tried to describe it on Google+ with this analogy:
I think this is truly the worst takeaway of the past couple of days, but imagine an engine of a car. It utilized to be that there was no starter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starter_[engine]), the driver had to go in front of the car and use couple of tool to start the engine. Today we have starters in any petrol engine, it’s integrated. It became more convenient, but basically nothing changed.
For a user or even a webmaster it ought not matter at all which components live where, it’s truly irrelevant, and that’s why I think people should concentrate on these “interesting” things less.
Andrey Lipattsev clarifies that Gary meant here that Panda is now part of the core ranking algorithm, and it means they don’t need to know how it runs any more. It’s been tested, it works, and it can now run by itself without much worry.
Ammon Johns, in the hangout, then said, “Once they forgot how it works, it is core?” To which Andrey Lipattsev replied, “That is percisely right.”
Here is the video embed at the start time so you can listen for yourself: