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Google Algorithm Changes: Google Lists Ten New Ones

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Google Algorithm Changes: Google Lists Ten New Ones
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Google put out a blog post highlighting ten recent algorithm changes. Don’t get too excited about the SEO possibilities though, because Google only listed the ones it deemed non-gamable.

These are changes that Google has made over the past couple of weeks. Here’s the list, as explained on Google’s Inside Search Blog:

  • Cross-language information retrieval updates: For queries in languages where limited web content is available (Afrikaans, Malay, Slovak, Swahili, Hindi, Norwegian, Serbian, Catalan, Maltese, Macedonian, Albanian, Slovenian, Welsh, Icelandic), we will now translate relevant English web pages and display the translated titles directly below the English titles in the search results. This feature was available previously in Korean, but only at the bottom of the page. Clicking on the translated titles will take you to pages translated from English into the query language.
  • Snippets with more page content and less header/menu content: This change helps us choose more relevant text to use in snippets. As we improve our understanding of web page structure, we are now more likely to pick text from the actual page content, and less likely to use text that is part of a header or menu.
  • Better page titles in search results by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors: We look at a number of signals when generating a page’s title. One signal is the anchor text in links pointing to the page. We found that boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as relevant, so we are putting less emphasis on these. The result is more relevant titles that are specific to the page’s content.
  • Length-based autocomplete predictions in Russian: This improvement reduces the number of long, sometimes arbitrary query predictions in Russian. We will not make predictions that are very long in comparison either to the partial query or to the other predictions for that partial query. This is already our practice in English.
  • Extending application rich snippets: We recently announced rich snippets for applications. This enables people who are searching for software applications to see details, like cost and user reviews, within their search results. This change extends the coverage of application rich snippets, so they will be available more often.
  • Retiring a signal in Image search: As the web evolves, we often revisit signals that we launched in the past that no longer appear to have a significant impact. In this case, we decided to retire a signal in Image Search related to images that had references from multiple documents on the web.
  • Fresher, more recent results: As we announced just over a week ago, we’ve made a significant improvement to how we rank fresh content. This change impacts roughly 35 percent of total searches (around 6-10% of search results to a noticeable degree) and better determines the appropriate level of freshness for a given query.
  • Refining official page detection: We try hard to give our users the most relevant and authoritative results. With this change, we adjusted how we attempt to determine which pages are official. This will tend to rank official websites even higher in our ranking.
  • Improvements to date-restricted queries: We changed how we handle result freshness for queries where a user has chosen a specific date range. This helps ensure that users get the results that are most relevant for the date range that they specify.
  • Prediction fix for IME queries: This change improves how Autocomplete handles IME queries (queries which contain non-Latin characters). Autocomplete was previously storing the intermediate keystrokes needed to type each character, which would sometimes result in gibberish predictions for Hebrew, Russian and Arabic.

Google said last week that it aims to be more transparent about algorithm changes going forward, and intends to announce major updates as they launch, much like they did with Panda and the recent freshness update.

Google also says it is testing algorithm changes that will look more closely at ad-to-content ratio for the portion of a page that resides “above the fold.” Expect this to be a more critical signal in 2012.

Google Algorithm Changes: Google Lists Ten New Ones
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  • http://www.ewaysonline.com Seoprasoon

    Thanks for the info Chris !!

  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    Google also says it is testing algorithm changes that will look more closely at ad-to-content ratio for the portion of a page that resides “above the fold.” Expect this to be a more critical signal in 2012.

    I appreciate that Google is “testing” this and not fully launching this kind of a change. I mean with Adsense telling everybody to put ads above the fold and then Google’s search engine team testing to see if ads above the fold can be used as a signal of lower quality pages I think it’s a bad idea and hope their testing proves just that.

  • http://www.studdedwintertires.ca Studded Winter Tires

    It’s obvious Google is upping the ante in search and attempting to improve user / reader experience.

  • http://wonderfulmumbai.com Mumbai Places of Interest

    “Fresher, more recent results”: I was very pleasantly surprised to see that a content rich post of mine about a a recent news event came up in the first 5 results on Google. I wonder if it has anything to do with how their “Caffeine web indexing system” has been tweaked.

    The algorithm change explanation seems a bit cryptic. Even the link to the Google blog wasn’t very helpful in helping figure out what a webmaster should do to be “Google-compliant” with these new set of changes.

    • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

      I wouldn’t expect Google to tell us much yet as they might not even be actually using above the fold as a real signal. Google has their sandbox to test any proposed changes to their algorithm and so where I think publishers are scared is that Google is now being more transparent in the ideas they have that actually make it that far to sandbox testing. Many things that actually are sandbox tested do not even make it past that.

      I mean honestly all you would have to do is please Google should they actually use this as a live algorithm change is make sure that your content is featured more than the ads are when your page first loads. Take 1024×768 as a browser window size and see how many ads show up when your pages load and simply move them further down the page if Google announces this change has gotten past sandbox testing and is launched live. Granted this will absolutely affect your income as most ad clicks appear from above the fold ads. It might even force larger publishers to only use 1 or 2 ad networks, and gee, who’s the highest paying and best performing? Adsense of course. I see this as just Google using it’s influence and market share to tell us how to publish a website and basically if we’re going to earn money from publishing, it’s going to be using Adsense only. If this goes live, expect the lawsuits to start flying from ad networks and publishers.

  • http://www.pageonesystems.com Page One Systems

    I like this. I want to see changes that extremely reduce the effect of techniques like article spinning and automated submission, etc. have on rankings.. Tactics used to mainly just create a boatload of back links. NO real content, no real value for the web user… Just spammy back links.. Keep it up Google, do your best at creating an algorithm that ranks VALUABLE, solid, REAL content..

  • http://www.gloryethiopiatravel.com Daniel Damtew

    That sounds good. And how do we get the new SEO details that go along with the new Google list of criteria.

  • http://myyouthbrigade.com amir

    Don”t know why google is making changes day by day….what was wrong with current algo?

  • http://www.epriceindia.com SA@ price india

    Currently I’m indexing Tag pages, Can it affect my site due to new panda update?

  • http://www.autonews24x7.com/ Jon

    Cant agree with them in one of the point, relevant and authoritative results. A lot of sites with irrelevant contents, mostly copied from other blogs are getting high rankings in Google, so how this latest algo beneficial for the users ?.

  • http://ecooltips.com/ Online Tips

    every time its change in doing SEO when google changes its algo. Now its page fold also created change in blogs design.

  • http://www.eworldarena.com Geetansh Gupta

    Why google is doing this?
    may be for our benefit also

  • http://www.infocona.com vinod

    hey nice the new google algo come with more advanced features and protocols

  • http://www.mbloggers.com Ray

    Changes are Necessary for it to sustain its position……

  • http://publicbit.com aniket

    yes changes r necessary to sustain its position

  • http://www.thetechdigit.com Kedar Lasane

    Excellent update from Google.Only quality and unique sites will be at top