Google announced, what seems to now be, a monthly update on improvements and changes made to their search algorithms, indexing and query refinements.
They did this about 15 days ago, announcing ten updates during the month and now they have another ten to share with us.
The key changes include a new ranking signal for determining original content, indexing content deeper to find more long tail content, indexing images faster (which we noticed a week ago) and indexing blog posts faster.
Here are the updates categorized by new signals and classifiers, indexing improvements and general search results improvements:
New Signals & Classifiers:
- Original content: We added new signals to help us make better predictions about which of two similar web pages is the original one.
- 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.
- Image result freshness: We made a change to how we determine image freshness for news queries. This will help us find the freshest images more often.
- More comprehensive indexing: This change makes more long-tail documents available in our index, so they are more likely to rank for relevant queries.
- 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.
Search Results Improvements:
- 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."
- Top result selection code rewrite: This code handles extra processing on the top set of results. For example, it ensures that we don’t show too many results from one site ("host crowding"). We rewrote the code to make it easier to understand, simpler to maintain and more flexible for future extensions.
- 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.
- Live results for Major League Soccer and the Canadian Football League: This change displays the latest scores & schedules from these leagues along with quick access to game recaps and box scores.
- Layout on tablets: We made some minor color and layout changes to improve usability on tablet devices.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.