A recent post on the Official Google Blog showed a list of the 10 most recent improvements to the Google search algorithm, that complex piece of code that determines which websites to show for any given search.
Most of these changes relate to foreign language searches, and the improvement of auto-complete options and cross-translation, and as a result, aren’t going to impact SEO.
However, there are a few changes that do have an impact of some sort, and we’ll take a quick look at those below.
Google Algorithm Changes
The following changes to the algorithm look like they may have an impact on SEO in certain cases.
Snippets With More Page Content
Snippets are the bit of text that Google displays under a listing in the results. It’s usually your site description, but in some cases, such as where descriptions don’t exist, Google pulls a section of your page into the snippet to act as a description.
This has now been improved, making it less likely that navigation or header information will appear in the snippet.
Better Page Titles
We’ve recently seen a few cases on some sites where Google ignores the title tag, and instead displays a title that they’ve generated. Google has updated this functionality now, by devaluing the boilerplate links (like navigation that appears on every page) so that they can generate better page titles where necessary.
Seems like the Fresh Algorithm Update that Google was testing is now in effect, and forms part of this algorithm update. You can click on the link to find out how fresh content has become more important, and how Google is working to deliver more relevant fresh content when appropriate.
Official Page Detection
Google has changed the way that they decide on which page is official, in the quest to provide better results. We don’t know how they’re determining it now, but according to Google, official pages will rank better.
Improved Date Range Queries
Part of the new struggle for freshness, Google has changed how it handles queries that are restricted to a certain date range. (This never worked well in the past…here’s hoping it will work better now.)
The changes mentioned above are the ones that seem to have an effect on most types of search. There are other changes, (5 of them) that largely deal with language issues, non-latin alphabets and that type of thing. If you’re interested in those, click on the link at the top of the page and see the official Google announcement about it.