Google Algorithm Update Focuses On Freshness and Recency

    November 4, 2011

At the rate information is transferring, it seems like a losing game to try and stay current on everything that is occurring. However, it’s exactly what Google is planning with their latest algorithm update. Simply put, they’re trying to make sure their search results are recent and fresh.

According to Google, nearly 35% of searches will be impacted by this update. It’s building upon their Caffeine system, which they touted as a better way to crawl and index more quickly and on a larger scale. They provided the keyword “olympics” as an example.

“If I search for [olympics], I probably want information about next summer’s upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics (the only time my favorite sport, cricket, was played). Google Search uses a freshness algorithm, designed to give you the most up-to-date results, so even when I just type [olympics] without specifying 2012, I still find what I’m looking for.”

There are three key features being highlighted in the update:

Recent events or hot topics. For recent events or hot topics that begin trending on the web, you want to find the latest information immediately. Now when you search for current events like [occupy oakland protest], or for the latest news about the [nba lockout], you’ll see more high-quality pages that might only be minutes old.

Occupy Oakland search

Regularly recurring events. Some events take place on a regularly recurring basis, such as annual conferences like [ICALP] or an event like the [presidential election]. Without specifying with your keywords, it’s implied that you expect to see the most recent event, and not one from 50 years ago. There are also things that recur more frequently, so now when you’re searching for the latest [NFL scores], [dancing with the stars] results or [exxon earnings], you’ll see the latest information.

Frequent updates. There are also searches for information that changes often, but isn’t really a hot topic or a recurring event. For example, if you’re researching the [best slr cameras], or you’re in the market for a new car and want [subaru impreza reviews], you probably want the most up to date information.

As with all algorithm updates, there are some problems with the changes. The first is structuring it in such a way that it recognizes when results need to be fresh, and when being current isn’t a requirement. They assure users that the improvement is being designed to know when freshness is an important factor.

As with all algorithm updates, we’ll all be sitting in anticipation to see how this will impact both webmasters and users.