While changes to Google’s algorithm happen all the time, some changes are definitely bigger than others. The latest change is related to content freshness, and is said to affect 35 percent of all online searches.
While this change is one of the biggest in recent times, it is an extension of the current philosophy already in place. Basically, Google are trying to encourage updated content, especially as it relates to news and events. Google realise there is more information out there than ever before, and most people are looking for recent content rather than historical data.
In the official Google blog, Amit Singhal offers this example:
“If I search for [olympics], I probably want information about next summer’s upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics (the only time my favorite sport, cricket, was played). Google Search uses a freshness algorithm, designed to give you the most up-to-date results, so even when I just type [olympics] without specifying 2012, I still find what I’m looking for.”
According to Singhal, there are three areas of focus for the new algorithm.
- Recent events or hot topics – for hot topics that begin trending online.
- Regularly recurring events – where Google will default to the most recent event.
- Frequent updates – for information that changes often.
In a simple sense, Google are putting more emphasis on recent events, which is something they have been slowly moving towards for years now. Of course you can still search for old information if you want to, but the most recent data will become the default if no other keywords or search filters are added.