New Google Algorithm Changes Continue To Focus On Freshness

    April 3, 2012
    Chris Crum
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Google has been all about some freshness lately. In November, the company launched its freshness update, which it said built upon the momentum of Caffeine, in getting fresher results in Google.

It seems as though Google is trying to make up for the lack of realtime search – a void left by the expiration of Google’s deal with Twitter.

When Google released its monthly list of algorithm changes for January, it was clear that freshness was a major focus. As was the case with February’s list.

Today, Google released its list for March, and yet again, freshness is mentioned a lot. Here are some changes from the list specifically related to freshness of results:

High-quality sites algorithm data update and freshness improvements. [launch codename “mm”, project codename “Panda”] Like many of the changes we make, aspects of our high-quality sites algorithm depend on processing that’s done offline and pushed on a periodic cycle. In the past month, we’ve pushed updated data for “Panda,” as we mentioned in a recent tweet. We’ve also made improvements to keep our database fresher overall.

Fresher image predictions in all languages. [launch codename “imagine2”, project codename “Suggest”] We recently rolled out a change to surface more relevant image search predictions in autocomplete in English. This improvement extends the update to all languages.

Improvements to freshness in Video Universal. [launch codename “graphite”, project codename “Freshness”] We’ve improved the freshness of video results to better detect stale videos and return fresh content.

Improvements to freshness. [launch codename “Abacus”, project codename “Freshness”] We launched an improvement to freshness late last year that was very helpful, but it cost significant machine resources. At the time we decided to roll out the change only for news-related traffic. This month we rolled it out for all queries.

More precise detection of old pages. [launch codename “oldn23″, project codename “Freshness”] This change improves detection of stale pages in our index by relying on more relevant signals. As a result, fewer stale pages are shown to users.

Hopefully some of the tweaks will help relevancy, because in my experience, freshness of results has been to great a signal in my opinion. Since Google’s Freshness update, I find that recency is often given more credence than relevancy. Sometimes the content I’m looking for is older. Not all of the best content on the web happened in the last week.

  • http://ofinteresttome.com Matt

    “I find that recency is often given more credence than relevancy. Sometimes the content I’m looking for is older. Not all of the best content on the web happened in the last week.” Exactly! I thought it was just me. Freshness over relevancy was driving me nuts, I started using Bing it was getting so bad. Turns out Bing is actually pretty awesome.

  • Johnny Davis

    Google is going downhill. They are pushing their own products too much and their relevant search is getting worse with this April 2012 update. It’s obvious their pushing their own special interests and partners and ruining it for the small business owner and the web searcher.

    Relevancy should never be replaced by freshness, big names, or Google special interests.

  • http://www.Southampton-City.ac.uk Jonathan Smith

    Interesting article, I agree that relevancy not freshness is key, but surely its just a tweak in one of their search algorithms to increase freshness weighting VS relevancy.
    I’m sure relevancy would still have a greater impact on search results. I have noticed some strange movement lately on google search results.
    I use my own CMS to deliver the college’s content, any ideas on how to ensure google picks it’s up if changed, can I use some sort if meta tag with publish update or is there some other mechanism? Ie writing publish date to page..
    Many thanks
    Jonathan Smith
    Web Developer
    City College Southanpton
    SouthanptonC City

  • http://www.webdesigns4effect.com Tom Corn

    Google is running very fast in the wrong direction. Relevant information isn’t always brand new. My guess is that the honchos at google are being hoodwinked by the folks telling them that their not fast enough indexing current news and TMZ style Jersey Shore reporting and they are sacrificing their relevance to get it.

  • http://www.ufixpc.com P lee

    Its hard to believe all this with Google Just what/who do they think they are GOD Alla I m giving up with it, nect google will be watching us Crap.

  • http://neilyamit.com/ Neil

    Well..that explains why my old sites traffic was halved..I haven’t updated them in a while…

  • lee

    I hated Bing at first, but honestly, Google Search has been getting so bad lately that I’ve taken a closer look at it, and it’s actually pretty decent. I knew I couldn’t be the only to notice that Google was going downhill!

  • http://www.radiopay.com Zachary

    I think there is nothing new – anyone who tracks Google’s changes could have predicted that.

  • john

    google really need freshness update, them become very slow in links indexing and updating of their index. also 3 days required for gwt to update stats. Really slowly!