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Google Search Gives Us a Sampling of Their Algorithm Changes


The team at Google Search have recently made some changes to their overall process. In fact, they say they make over 500 changes to search in a given year. Obviously they’re not going to list all of them, since some are susceptible to gaming, but they have listed 10 changes, or “improvements” as they call it, made over the last couple of weeks.

Example of search results for "Occupy Oakland Protest"

You can see their list of changes here, but the one that most likely will interest bloggers is the “Fresher, more recent results”. Here’s what Google had to say about this tweak on their blog today:

As we announced just over a week ago, we’ve made a significant improvement to how we rank fresh content. This change impacts roughly 35 percent of total searches (around 6-10% of search results to a noticeable degree) and better determines the appropriate level of freshness for a given query.

They gave many more details at the beginning of November, explaining why they made the changes. Usually when we are searching for something on Google, we want fresh content.

One example they gave is when a person types in “Olympics”. Most likely the person searching is looking for information on the upcoming Olympic Games, not the ones from 1990. So, when you type in ‘Olympics‘ (without even specifying 2012) you’ll see search results for the upcoming Olympic Games first.

You might be asking exactly how much this affects the search results. Here is an update Google gave on November 7th:

Update 11/7/11: To clarify, when we say this algorithm impacted 35% of searches, we mean at least one result on the page was affected, as opposed to when we’ve said noticeably impacted in the past, which means changes that are significant enough that an average user would notice. Using that same scale, this change noticeably impacts 6 – 10% of searches, depending on the language and domain you’re searching on.

Have you noticed a difference in your Google search results or your blog traffic (if you blog on recent events, hot topics, etc) since this update was made?


  • Brett Bumeter

    I generally benefit from the changes these days. A few years back, it was more painful.

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