February 17: Latest Google Search Quality Updates

Feb 7, 2012 • 8:43 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Google LogoAs I said yesterday in our Panda pipelines post, Google announced 17 search quality changes they made in the month of January.

Here is the full list that they announced:

  • Fresher results. [launch codename “nftc”] We made several adjustments to the freshness algorithm that we released in November. These are minor updates to make sure we continue to give you the freshest, most relevant results.
  • Faster autocomplete. [launch codename “Snappy Suggest”, project codename “Suggest”] We made improvements to our autocomplete system to deliver your predicted queries much faster.
  • Autocomplete spelling corrections. [launch codename “Trivial”, project codename “Suggest”] This is an improvement to the spelling corrections used in autocomplete, making those corrections more consistent with the spelling corrections used in search. This launch targets corrections where the spelling change is very small.
  • Better spelling full-page replacement. [launch codenames “Oooni”, “sgap”, project codename “Full-Page Replacement”] When we’re confident in a spelling correction we automatically show results for the corrected query and let you know we’re “Showing results for [cheetah]” (rather than, say, “cheettah”). We made a couple of changes to improve the accuracy of this feature.
  • Better spelling corrections for rare queries. This change improves one of the models that we use to make spelling corrections. The result is more accurate spell corrections for a number of rare queries.
  • Improve detection of recurrent event pages. [launch codename “neseda”] We made several improvements to how we determine the date of a document. As a result, you’ll see fresher, more timely results, particularly for pages discussing recurring events.
  • High-quality sites algorithm improvements. [launch codenames “PPtl” and “Stitch”, project codename “Panda”] In 2011, we launched the Panda algorithm change, targeted at finding more high-quality sites. We improved how Panda interacts with our indexing and ranking systems, making it more integrated into our pipelines. We also released a minor update to refresh the data for Panda.
  • Cross-language refinements. [launch codename Xiangfan] Previously, we only generated related searches based on the display language. With this change, we also attempt to auto-detect the language of the original query to generate related search queries. Now, a user typing a query in French might see French query refinements, even if her language is set to English.
  • English on Google Saudi Arabia. Users in Saudi Arabia can now more easily choose an English interface to search on google.com.sa.
  • Improved scrolling for Image Search. Previously when you scrolled in Image Search, only the image results would move while the top and side menus were pinned in place. We changed the scrolling behavior to make it consistent with our main search results and the other search modes, where scrolling moves the entire page.
  • Improved image search quality. [launch codename “endearo”, project codename “Image Search”] This is a small improvement to our image search ranking algorithm. In particular, this change helps images with high-quality landing pages rank higher in our image search results.
  • More relevant related searches. Sometimes at the bottom of the screen you’ll see a section called “Searches related to” with other queries you may want to try. With this change, we’ve updated the model for generating related searches, resulting in more useful query refinements.
  • Blending of news results. [launch codename “final-destination”, project codename “Universal Search”] We improved our algorithm that decides which queries should show news results, making it more responsive to realtime trends. We also made an adjustment to how we blend news results in Universal Search. Both of these changes help news articles appear in your search results when they are relevant.
  • Automatically disable Google Instant based on computer speed. [project codename “Psychic Search”] Google Instant has long had the ability to automatically turn itself off if you’re on a slow internet connection. Now Instant can also turn itself off if your computer is slow. If Instant gets automatically disabled, we continue to check your computer speed and will re-enable Instant if your performance improves. We’ve also tweaked search preferences so you can always have Instant on or off, or have it change automatically.
A WebmasterWorld thread is chewing up all of these to learn more. But most of them are not so much about rankings as they are about search results tweaks - which can indirectly impact rankings.

In any event, feel free to discuss.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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02/07/2012 05:09 pm

such a good list of changes...thanks 

Dewaldt Huysamen

02/08/2012 12:30 pm

Freshness is still awesome element to milk and I have found it easy by creating content based on latest news a easy tactic to outrank other websites without any off site SEO.

Seo Vietnam

02/11/2012 01:30 pm

These are definitely some good leads to follow up on. Thanks for the heads up!

Jomer B. Gregorio

02/16/2012 08:42 pm

I've noticed these updates for SOME of my sites. Some of them drop their PageRank , the MAIN concern that I wanted to know is that some of my sit's pages has been indexed by Google but not the homepage. Very strange indeed..


03/01/2012 09:49 am

Google now a days updating its search quality very frequently, which affects a lot of site... which helps us to get the refined results and hence spamming sites are excluded....

John Jones

03/12/2012 02:52 pm

google seo provides 0 help to people searching the internet for a specific  result. the search engine gives millions of search results when millions can't be read.when user finally gets millions of results condensed down to 10 most relsevant results the results given do not relate to the search entered.search engine optimaztion would be to allow related results.

John Jones

03/12/2012 02:58 pm

why does google refuse to allow direct,related,non-redirected results? don't give excuse that direct results requires exact information to be given . exact information is exactly what is searched for. ( redirected results are NOT caused by virus on this computer.It has been scaned and is clean)

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