Google's algorithm changes - This time it's all about the "freshness" of the data - Blurbpoint
Sanket Patel

Posted by Sanket Patel

November 19, 2011

Google SEO 15 min read

Google’s algorithm changes – This time it’s all about the “freshness” of the data

On 3 November Google announced changes in the algorithm so that experienced users fresher search results.

The reason: The algorithm should understand what the best result for certain search terms to fit back.

Meaning, if the search string was regarding movies playing in a particular theatre, the users would expect the most recent results and not that of a week or a month ago.

Similarly, if users are looking for news items, news from an hour ago or even a minute ago would be fresh. Inclusion of the “freshness” of information in the search results, so that the update algorithm can decide which is the freshest data for that particular search!

Google says that this improvement will affect 35% of the searches. The algorithm will now be able to give you up-to-date and more relevant results in terms of freshness of data.

So, what types of searches are affected?

Directly from the Google Blog here are the types of search commands that will be affected:

* Recent events

* Recurring events

* Frequent updates

Recent events: The freshest news is for the most recent events such as “breaking news” with regard to some unrest or riot control or “live” event happens, on the one hand, that only a few minutes ago was updated. The recent update to the algorithm will be able to understand and quality result for the recent events with the freshest news available.

Recurring events: Recurring events such as Fifa world cup or some other sporting event, or elections or conferences when asked by users, the algorithm will now understand that you would like the data from the most recent event and not the information of the one who was ten years ago! This is a big change! users cannot type in the date of the event in the search string to get the latest information. (unless of course they really want information from ten years ago)!

Frequent updates: even if you are looking for a new car in the market, you want the most up-to-date information with the details about the latest model, so it is not just about the hot topics and events, even regular searches will witness the change.

Well, there is one more category searches where old data is still good! This is the one similar research projects, people looking for old documents, recopies, how information, etc. Algorithm of Google will distinguish which is the relevant result for what kind of search string. Amazing isn’t it?

Closing thoughts: improving the user experience – there are excellent work! With freshness as a criteria, users definitely get good, up-to-date and fresh search results, which is what Google is doing. On the other hand webmasters; not let this mislead you to think that data already published update will give you a higher ranking! No-No, small changes and re-uploading data for your website, not your data fresh! Now will the Google’s algorithm can identify fresh data and understand the search string to return the most relevant search result.

Marketing Implications

    With the alarming 35% figure from Google, you can be sure this is a major update, you should start to consider:

  • If you don’t publish fresh contents, then you’ll have already miss, but more could miss. These makes it for all retailers and other transactional sites have a blog, fresh content stream according to our essential.
  • Your website ranking reports would be very soon for particular keyword capricious, so use conversions (sales & leads) as well as natural traffic follow what influence these update-see this tutorial on the new SEO options query report by Dan Barker for how.
  • Have you got alerts or dashboards setup which can monitor the impacts : see Dave Chaffey’s tutorial on Google Analytics Intelligence for these.
  • Implementation of RSS feeds of your news/blog content – seem more are used in the updates
  • Utilize the latest modified tag in your XML sitemaps.
  • If the content you create is time sensitive you’ll need to continually publish related item to remain on the search results pages especially if its a competitive term

The biggest implication of this is update your agenda editorial/publishing and marketing. If you haven’t already, make sure your website were live with constantly updated & relevant content (content = blogs, products, videos, images etc not only news), you must make sure you are part of the conversation & publishing.


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