Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Google Algorithm Updates: The Latest Things To Consider

Google Algorithm Updates: The Latest Things To Consider
December 3, 2011

Matt CuttsWe just announced another ten algorithmic changes we've made! Read more here: 33 minutes ago via Tweet Button

Google lists them as follows:

  • Related query results refinements: Sometimes we fetch results for queries that are similar to the actual search you type. This change makes it less likely that these results will rank highly if the original query had a rare word that was dropped in the alternate query. For example, if you are searching for [rare red widgets], you might not be as interested in a page that only mentions "red widgets."
  • More comprehensive indexing: This change makes more long-tail documents available in our index, so they are more likely to rank for relevant queries.
  • New "parked domain" classifier: This is a new algorithm for automatically detecting parked domains. Parked domains are placeholder sites that are seldom useful and often filled with ads. They typically don't have valuable content for our users, so in most cases we prefer not to show them.
  • More autocomplete predictions: With autocomplete, we try to strike a balance between coming up with flexible predictions and remaining true to your intentions. This change makes our prediction algorithm a little more flexible for certain queries, without losing your original intention.
  • Fresher and more complete blog search results: We made a change to our blog search index to get coverage that is both fresher and more comprehensive.
  • Original content: We added new signals to help us make better predictions about which of two similar web pages is the original one.

Google also indicated that it is testing algorithm changes that will look more what appears above the fold of a webpage.

We're getting close to a new year, and there's no reason to expect Google's changes to slow down. Google has been clear, however, that it aims to be more transparent about when these changes occur, and what those changes are. Granted, this transparency will only go so far, because Google will not make all of its signals known, and leave their results too open for gaming. That wouldn't be good for anybody (except maybe Google's competitors).

Google does say that these lists of algorithm changes are now a monthly series.

What do you think about the latest changes? Good or bad?
Let us know in the comments.

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