Google Algorithm – 10 New Changes

Posted by Kelly on 16 November 2011

Google Reveals 10 Algorithm Changes

Every year, Google makes around 500 changes to its search algorithm and on Monday, it revealed 10 more. Google rarely publicises its changes but chose to reveal these as they are ‘less susceptible to gaming’. Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts published on the Google’s Inside Search Blog in-depth details about the 10 algorithm changes and here they are:

1. Cross-language information retrieval updates

For queries in languages where limited web content is available (Afrikaans, Malay, Slovak, Swahili, Hindi, Norwegian, Serbian, Catalan, Maltese, Macedonian, Albanian, Slovenian, Welsh, Icelandic), Google will now translate relevant English web pages and display the translated titles underneath the English titles in the search results. Clicking on the translated titles will take you to pages translated from English into the query language.

2. Snippets with more page content and less header/menu content

This change helps Google to choose more relevant text to use in snippets. The search engine is now more likely to pick text from the actual page content, and less likely to select the text that is part of a header or a menu.

3. Better page titles in search results by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors

When generating a page title, Google looks at a number of signals, one being the anchor text in links pointing to the page. It was found that boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as relevant, so it will concentrate on the titles that are relevant to the pages content.

4. Length-based autocomplete predictions in Russian

This reduces the number of long and sometimes arbitrary query predictions in Russian. Google will no longer make long predictions in Russian.

5. Extending application rich snippets

Google’s rich snippets for applications allows users who are searching for software applications to see details like cost and user reviews, within their search results. This will be available more often.

6. Retiring a signal in Image search

Google decided to revisit signals that were launched in the past that no longer appear to have a significant impact. In this case, they have decided to retire a signal in Image Search relating to images that had references from multiple documents on the web.

7. Fresher, more recent results

Announced at the start of November, the search engine has made a significant improvement in the ranking of fresh content. The change impacts around 35 % of all searches and determines the appropriate level of freshness for a specific query.

8. Refining official page detection

This is an adjustment on how Google will determine which pages are official and rank these even higher.

9. Improvements to date-restricted queries

Google has changed how it handles result freshness for queries where a user has chosen a specific date range. The aim is to ensure the user gets the most relevant content for the date they specify.

10. Prediction fix for IME queries

This will improve how Autocomplete handles IME queries (which contain non-Latin characters).