One SEO professional asked John Mueller during a hangout whether Google keeps an internal logbook of their algorithm updates.
John explained that he is not 100 percent sure on this and doesn’t have a good answer for the SEO professional, which he referred to as “Alan.”
Update: This author has since learned that “Alan” was indeed SEO professional Alan Bleiweiss on Twitter.
John did say that they do try to understand everything that changes over time. It’s also really hard to track sometimes.
These types of projects are approved at some point, and then they launch at another point.
When you examine a URL in order to see changes, it’s hard to track such changes even on their side.
Trying to assess what had an effect on a page’s ranking can be tricky.
Even if there were a logbook of changes, it would be really difficult to turn it into something useful and base any SEO plan of action on that.
This happens at approximately the 38:27 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
Does Google have someone tasked with the job of recording each update in a logbook and noting which aspects of search are impleme–impacted? If so, is it called Google’s book of secrets?
John (Answer) 38:40
Yeah, I don’t know, Alan, I don’t really have a good answer for you there. We do track the changes that we make. And we try to figure out what all is, is changing over time. But there are lots of things that are changing in search. And sometimes it’s really hard to track back.
Because these things are approved at some point, and then they launch at some point. And when you look at an individual URL, and you see changes there, it’s really hard sometimes to track back even on our side, which of the changes had an effect here and what caused this kind of difference in ranking?
So even if we gave you this kind of log book of Google’s kind of search changes, I think it’s really hard to turn that into something useful and say, “Well, now that I know what Google has changed, I will always be updating my site to match that” because it’s, you can’t really do the reverse of that.
So that’s kind of tricky. And the other aspect is like you want this to be tracked in Excel, which I don’t know. That doesn’t seem like a good idea.