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Google has tweaked its basic search algorithm to promote fresher and more relevant content, with 35 percent of searches to be affected, the company announced today. The adjustments will impact searches for recent and reoccurring events, and other fast-changing information.
While it’s easy to focus on evolving Google products like Gmail and Google+, Google still makes most of its revenues on search and advertising. Thus, the company needs to keep you coming back for more searches, and wants you to be dependent on reliable and relevant results. It also wants to keep you away from Microsoft’s Bing.
“Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old,” wrote Google Fellow Amit Singhal on the Official Google Blog.
Google has made a commitment to delivering better and faster search results over the past few years. In June 2010, Google debuted a new search indexing infrastructure called Caffeine that helped improve the the frequency of real-time results by aggregating more pages and indexing in half the time. The changes announced today are different from Caffeine implantation because that was purely an infrastructure change where this is algorithmic.
The areas of search most impacted, according to Google, will be:
• 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.