Google’s New Algorithm

Google Headquarters

Google just changed it algorithm for the better just in time for the weekend!  In an announcement on the Google Blog yesterday, Google will now rank recent content higher on its search results than older content.  This move is to move them back into competition with the likes of Twitter, Facebook, and Bing (Bing indexes Twitter & Facebook) which account for the bulk of the most recently posted internet content.

According to today’s NY Times article, “Google makes more than 500 changes to its algorithm a year, but most affect only a small percentage of results.” This change is one of the largest this year and is anticipated to affect about 35% of Google’s search results, according to CNBC.

This move and timing is a brilliant economic decision as we move into the shopping season and the various Black Friday discount shopping lists.  Shoppers want to know the most cutting deals on products and store discounts.  Businesses continue to reach shoppers individually through Twitter and Facebook, and I suspect that Google sees the potential for its business advertisers (its bread and butter) to walk away from Google should its advertisers fail to see the return value they expect from Google Ads.  Money speaks and Google listens!

From a non-economic perspective, people who want the most leading information can still use Google.  Sports fan should rejoice (I am) because they can follow their favorite teams (e.i. Willamette University) and get up to the second scores. The 2012  presidential election race will also begin in a few short weeks too.  Google must cover the most up to date information or face becoming obsolete.

According to the Google Blog, there are three main areas that the changes aim to impact:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

So as you’re checking out the most recent sporting event or shopping during the upcoming holidays, Google might be able to help you out even better than before!


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on November 4, 2011, in Google and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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