Google Algorithm Gets More Freshness Tweaks

    June 7, 2012
    Chris Crum

Google finally released its big list of algorithm changes for the month of May. As it has in other recent months, Google made more adjustments to freshness signals.

Here are the relevant changes from the list:

  • Better detection of major new events. [project codename “Freshness”] This change helps ensure that Google can return fresh web results in realtime seconds after a major event occurs.
  • Smoother ranking functions for freshness. [launch codename “flsp”, project codename “Freshness”] This change replaces a number of thresholds used for identifying fresh documents with more continuous functions.
  • Better detection of searches looking for fresh content. [launch codename “Pineapples”, project codename “Freshness”] This change introduces a brand new classifier to help detect searches that are likely looking for fresh content.
  • Freshness algorithm simplifications. [launch codename “febofu”, project codename “Freshness”] This month we rolled out a simplification to our freshness algorithms, which will make it easier to understand bugs and tune signals.

Google also announced a change for May listed as “improvements to ranking for news results”. That’s somewhat related to freshness. “This change improves signals we use to rank news content in our main search results,” says Google. “In particular, this change helps you discover news content more quickly than before.”

For comparison, here are the freshness tweaks they announced a month ago.

Do you think Google’s results are getting better in the freshness department. In the past, we’ve talked about how freshness has sometimes hurt relevancy.