Google will now have a monthly post on its blog about the major algorithm changes that it did in that month. This monthly series will highlight all major changes that Google made to its search ranking algorithms as well as indexing updates, snippets and other aspects of its search engine. On December 1st of 2011, Scott Huffman of Google posted on the changes Google made to its search algorithms. I want to summarize the changes and discuss how these changes would affect websites. Here are the changes with some comments:
- Related Queries and Semantic Search - Scott notes that sometimes, when you type in a query, the results that show up are not only the ones for the original query but also results of other related queries. See this patent in which Google describes how related queries could be used for ranking. This just makes the search a bit more semantic rather than matching only on the words in the original query. The change made in November of 2011 will continue doing this, but will discourage dropping of a rare word in the related queries. For example, if the original query is “vinci paintings”, and the related query is “paintings”, Google will not allow the related query to be used for ranking. Rare words are words with a low inverse document frequency. So, this implies that rare words will be given more importance than before in ranking.
- Deeper Crawling - Deeper crawling and making long tail documents more available. This is really good news in that Google will crawl more aggressively and make its indexing algorithms less selective.
- Parked Domains – With a new parked domains classifier, Google will actively detect parked domains and demote them in search results. This might mean lesser search traffic for parked domains. So unless your domain name has a lot of type in traffic (i.e. the visitor arrives at your site by just typing the domain name in a browser), your parked domains will recieve less traffic.
- Aggressive Auto-Complete – Auto-Complete in Google instant will now be more aggressive, and the number of suggestions that a searcher receives will be more than before.
- Blog Search - More indexing coverage and fresher results for blogs!
- Original and Duplicate Content – More intelligent detection of original content. Google will now be able to tell which of the two very similar pages is the original, with a higher precision.
- Host Crowding – If in the top search results, there are several results from the same domain name, Google will demote or remove some of these results thereby introducing more diversity in the top search results.
I am delighted that Google decided to introduce this level of transparency it its algorithms! I will closely follow this series of posts and discuss them on my blog.
Art J. Adams