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by John Waghorn on 4th November 2011
Search engine giants Google have announced that once again they have made some changes and updates to their ranking algorithm. Google has implemented many changes in the past including the Caffeine web indexing system last year which allows Google to crawl and index the web for fresh content on a very large scale. Building on these developments, they have now introduced a change to the ranking algorithm that impacts around 35 percent of searches which will determine when to give you the most up-to-date and relevant results.
When you are conducting a search in Google you are likely to be after the latest information on that particular topic. Even if you don’t specifically state in the search box the date or year relating to the search, you probably want to be presented with results that are up-to-date. An example being, if you search for the term ‘Olympics’ then you are likely to be after information regarding the upcoming Olympics in 2012 and not for the Olympic games in 1900. The idea behind the change is that if you are searching for the above term without specifying the date you will still find what you were after.
Search results pages can present information from last year, last month and even an hour ago and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to work out if previous results apply to the search at the current time of searching. If you search for news on a certain topic for example, Google will decide if a news story on this issue from a week ago applies to the search entered.
The areas that are worth noting that tie in with these change include the following:
• Recent Events and popular topics – For popular and recent events that are trending on websites you will want to see recent information on the topic in question, so therefore when you search for a current event you’ll be presented with high quality pages from sites, and these pages could be just a few minutes old.
• Regularly recurring events – There are some events that take place on a regular basis. A good example of this is the general election. Without stating in the search that you want the most recent results, Google will apply the new changes to this type of search, displaying recent links and not those from 30 years ago. Some events reoccur more often on a regular basis such as the latest football scores, and again the same rules would apply for a search of this type.
• Frequent updates – Updated information will also apply to searches that are more individual and are not considered to be a hot topic, or one that is reoccurring. For example, if you are looking to buy a brand new HD television chances are you want to see the most recent reviews relating to that product.
Older search results may still be applicable if you are searching for something like food recipes for example as it is likely that the recipe has not changed over time. In contrast to this if you search for something like the cricket score, results from two weeks ago would be too old, so these changes have an impact on the results that you will be presented with from a search.
Different searches require different information to be displayed and the new ranking algorithm changes are designed to try and make the search more relevant to you with the latest information being displayed on the SERPs.
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