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.
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.