Google Update Increases Search “Freshness”

Google search results will now be “fresher” after the search giant released changes to its algorithm recently.

The update, which seeks to build on the Caffeine web indexing system, has said to be affecting approximately 35% of all search queries. For example, if you search for “upcoming Brooklyn theater shows” Google understands that the search results should not include shows from last year.

The freshness update follows on from what Google started last year with “Caffeine”. The new search algorithm determines when certain search queries should return more timely content, instead of older pages that might rank higher. So content freshness is given more importance.

Google Engineer, Amit Singhal, announced the update on The Official Google Blog:

Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old.

Which 35% of searches will be impacted? Here are the examples Google has provided:

  • Recent events or hot topics. For recent events or hot topics that begin trending on the web, you want to find the latest information immediately. Now when you search for current events like [occupy oakland protest], or for the latest news about the [nba lockout], you’ll see more high-quality pages that might only be minutes old.
  • Regularly recurring events. Some events take place on a regularly recurring basis, such as annual conferences like [ICALP] or an event like the [presidential election]. Without specifying with your keywords, it’s implied that you expect to see the most recent event, and not one from 50 years ago. There are also things that recur more frequently, so now when you’re searching for the latest [NFL scores], [dancing with the stars] results or [exxon earnings], you’ll see the latest information.
  • Frequent updates. There are also searches for information that changes often, but isn’t really a hot topic or a recurring event. For example, if you’re researching the [best slr cameras], or you’re in the market for a new car and want [subaru impreza reviews], you probably want the most up to date information.

With internet users looking to Facebook and Twitter for more timely and relevant updates, this “fresh” update by Google is a good move.

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By Rene LeMerle

Rene is the marketing manager of ineedhits.com - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for Gooruze.com - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

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