Posted by Chris Crum at WebProNews.
Google algorithm “transparency” continues
Google has been making a big deal about wanting to be more transparent about its search algorithm lately (without revealing the secret sauce too much of course). And so far, I have to say they’re making good on that promise fairly well.
We’ve seen plenty of algorithmic announcements made from the company over the course of the year. Earlier this month, they discussed ten recent changes they had made. Now, they’ve put out a similar post on the Inside Search Blog, revealing ten more that have been made since than post.
Google lists them as follows:
- 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.”
- More comprehensive indexing: This change makes more long-tail documents available in our index, so they are more likely to rank for relevant queries.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Original content: We added new signals to help us make better predictions about which of two similar web pages is the original one.
- 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.
- 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.
- Layout on tablets: We made some minor color and layout changes to improve usability on tablet devices.
- 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.
Google also points to the recently launched Verbatim tool, the updated search app for the iPad and the new Google bar a other recent changes to be aware of regarding Google search.
What do you think about these changes?