Google has begun the rollout of the fourth version of its Horus update, a search ranking algorithm update designed to reward better rankings to sites using purely emoji-based content. The first Horus update was launched on February 1, 2021, the second was launched December 15, 2021, the third was launched December 17, 2021 after a brief scuffle, and now the fourth has been released on April 1, 2022. The new update is named the 💥😈💰 update.
Horus update. The Horus update aims to promote purely emoji content as it constitutes the future of information delivery on the web. As we devolve our systems of printed communication back to pictograms and runes, Google said it will exclusively promote this type of content in its search results rankings.
Google is not directly punishing non-emoji-based content; however, if you fail to provide such content, you may find your rankings demoted. Technically, according to Google, this is not a penalty against your content — Google is just rewarding sites featuring lightning strikes, poop with eyes and wizard hats with rankings above yours.
What has changed. With the fourth release of the Horus update, Google said this update “builds on” the work of the first and third Horus updates (noticeably avoiding the topic of the second update and immediately changing the subject when asked) to enhance Google’s “ability to deliver search results that look similar to a text message from a lovesick teenager on a severely cracked iPhone 7,” added Braylee Byers of Google.
Google listed the following criteria for what matters with the Horus update:
- Include helpful emojis like fire, rainbow, double-underlined 100, and bicep
- Content is created by authors who think almost exclusively in emojis
- Include unique and rarely-used emojis like the person making a circle over their head, the calendar that says July 17, and the flag for Mauritania
- Complete elimination of articles “the”, “a” and “an” from all site content, even if used in the name of your company
The rollout. This rollout will happen over the next few weeks, Google said, disinterestedly while texting 15 cry-laugh emojis, followed by a shamrock and sparkle heart that the receiving party probably understood. These, and core updates, normally take a few weeks to roll out, so that should be no surprise. You should expect the bulk of the ranking volatility to happen in the earlier stages of this rollout.
Who this will impact. No one, because we made this up for April Fool’s Day.