Google Algorithm Update Feb 2012

In a post yesterday on Google’s official search blog, the most recent changes to the Google algorithm were announced. Or if not announced, at least talked about and hinted at, since as always, they’re wary of giving away too much information to people who might want to take advantage of it.

Latest Algorithm Changes

Going by the blog post, there have been an awful lot of little tweaks and changes this month. Around 40 reported ones in fact.

You can follow the link above for a comprehensive look at all the things that have been updated, but we’ll cover a few of the more potentially relevant ones here.

Link Evaluation

We all know that links are one of the most crucial parts of any search engine optimisation effort. The more links that point to you, the more credible Google sees your site as being. Now, in a move that is sure to prompt widespread speculation, Google has announced that their criteria for evaluating the quality of links has changed.

In true Google fashion, they don’t say much more than that. And they certainly don’t say how they’re going to be evaluating them. All they say is that they’ve stopped using one method of link evaluation that they’ve been using for years.

Improved Local Results

According to Google, they’re now even better at identifying your city when you search, and providing more relevant local search results.

Improved Local Results Rankings

According to the blog post, this improves the “triggering of local universal results by relying more on the rankings of [their] main search results.”

Panda 3.3 Update

Another update to the Panda filter, apparently refreshing data and making it more sensitive to recent changes, and as a result, more accurate as well.

Better Fresh Content

Like it says, better return of “fresh” content. Two old signals for fresh content have also been removed in order to improve this too.

Improved Site Links Categoriser

More relevant site links, thanks to improved categoriser.