November 6, 2011

According to the Google Blog, we should now see “Fresher” results in our searches due to a significant algorithm change they made here in November.

We completed our Caffeine web indexing system last year, which allows us to crawl and index the web for fresh content quickly on an enormous scale. Building upon the momentum from Caffeine, today we’re making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness.

Google believes it more important these days to give more recent results they deem are current via their unexplained changes in 3 categories (from the blog post):

  • “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. 
  • 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.” 
However, most likely in the minds of many business owners is will it affect my business and where I show up?  It could.
I would argue in the 3rd category, businesses could easily be affected significantly.  If you are an ecommerce website which offer these above examples like cameras or a specific car brand, you may susceptible to the many searches that people do regularly to hopefully get recent ratings or reviews on the product in contrast to some review done 3, 5 or 10 years ago.  Wouldn’t you?  There are many Top 10 Lists or changes to be profiled in some rating agency’s list or some magazine which rates local companies.
Despite the little information that was told about what will determine “freshness”, there was one bit of divulging from google from this Search Engine Land post.  They determine your recency based off of when they crawl your website.
This confirms the growing need to setup your Google Webmasters account and have professional SEO’s keep you up to date.
Beyond this, if you didn’t know it by now, Google supposedly makes at least a change a day to their search algorithm and in a separate post we recently found, they supposedly made as many as 516 in 2010.