Ten Things Google Has Recently Changed in their Search Algorithm

Search engines are always changing their algorithms. As SEO professionals break down the algorithms, new algorithms are written. Search engines aim to change with the times and be able to use new media and new technology to their advantage.

Google Algorithm

Though the panda update was by far the most important update over the last two years, many smaller changes have been taking effect. Here are ten recent algorithm changes that you should be aware of.

1.  Translated Content:- If you’re using a language that Google doesn’t have many results for, (i.e. Icelandic, Serbian, Swahili, etc,) Google will automatically translate the English results and display those alongside with native language results. In other words, if you type in “How to build a bed” in Swahili and there are no good Swahili results, a translated English website will be listed.

2.  Better Date Range Results:- Google now pays a lot more attention to search queries that deal with specific date ranges. For example, if you wanted to find tornado news only between Jan and March in 2011, Google’s results will help you do that.

3.  Official Page Ranking:- Google now uses special algorithms to determine what is truly an official page. Official pages will almost always outrank non-official pages now. In other words, Google can now tell that the official site of “Cousineart Blender 5500” is the Cousineart main site, not the affiliate review or the Amazon websites.

4.  Better Snippet Crawling:- In the past, Google’s snippet crawling technology might have picked up irrelevant content or content that just wasn’t representative of the whole text. Today, Google’s snipping technology is improved so that snippets and descriptions would pick up the most ideal snippet to represent the website.

5.  Better Instant Search for Hebrew, Arabic & Russian:- In these languages, multiple keystrokes are often necessary to create one character. The instant search / autocomplete featured used to try and autocomplete unfinished words, which resulted in results that made no sense. This has been fixed.

6.  Looking for Diversity in Anchor Text:- Google has found an inverse relationship between the frequency of anchor text to the quality and relevance of the page. In other words, Google has found that if a website is getting tons of anchor text links back to their website with a specific keyword, it’s likely that the site is specifically targeting that keyword and that the link may not actually contribute to the page’s quality.

7.  Recency Updates:- For time relevant results, which account for a large number of Google searches, new algorithms have been published that emphasize recency even more. Google will determine how time-relevant your search is and deliver more timely results.

8.  Reduced Image Search Weight:- Google used to use image search to help weigh the validity of certain websites. If a lot of people were using an image that came up in image search, chances are it was a high quality image and the author had published something valuable. This signal has been retired.

9.  Detail on Applications:- Applications used to be treated in much the same manner as regular websites. A snippet would be taken from the publisher’s page and displayed on the search results, along with the title. In the most recent update, Google has added rich snippets to application sites. This allows application results to display the price of the application, user reviews and other such data.

10.  Reduced Autocomplete Length in Russian:- Russian language autocomplete used to be overly long. Today that length has been reduced, so only sentences that are really likely to be search terms are displayed.

This is just the most recent round of changes. Google is always making changes and improvements to their algorithm. Sometimes the changes are large and sweeping, as it was with Panda, and at other times they’re small incremental changes.

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