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Search Quality Highlights: Recent Changes on Google Search

Posted by Avasoft Team | Posted in Site Traffic, Website Technical Issues | Posted on 19-07-2012

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Google is constantly making improving the results it generates for users, and every website owner must stay on top of these changes to make sure that their website continues to perform well in the rankings.  In February there were 40 different changes implemented by the search engine giant.  Here are the highlights:

  • A new data source has been created to build a section called “Searches related to…”  This creates new opportunities for increased coverage so that it will show up in more queries.  This new section on Google includes related searches that can help users refine their searches and find the results they are looking for.
  • Users are seeing more relevant site links because Google has adjusted a signal that’s used to locate snippets that are duplicates.
  • Adjustments have been made to the way official pages are detected so that previously mislabeled “official” pages on any subject will no longer be labeled as such.
  • The algorithms for Google’s autocomplete feature have been adjusted, particularly those relating to inappropriate or offensive terms.
  • A new update to the “site” query has resulted in better ranking for queries that use the operator “site:” so that the diversity of results is much greater than it was previously.
  • Sites using more synonyms of keywords are ranking higher in results.  This update was applied previously for search results in English, and now it also applies to searches in other languages.
  • Sites with fresher content will automatically rank higher in search engine results than sites that have not been updated recently.
  • The ranking for local search results has been improved and adjusted according to the rankings from the main Google search results.
  • Google’s spell correction feature has been improved so that it recognizes more misspelled words and can make better suggestions.
  • Signals have been added to shot when a topic suddenly increases in popularity.  Now these searches are tracked in real time so that Google is always aware when a topic starts to spike suddenly.
  • The account settings page in Google has a fresher look that’s a lot more consistent with the rest of the company’s design.
  • Last year’s Panda updates have been refreshed in the system so that they are much more responsive to all of the recent changes online.
  • The way Google evaluates links has changed quite a bit, which is important because they use link characteristics to try to figure out what a linked page is actually about.  The search engine has turned off an old method they once used to analyze links and reengineered how these links are analyzed.
  • Weaknesses in protection against spam have been fixed.
  • A new system helps users be able to find local results for their searches a lot more easily than they could previously.

As you can see, probably the most common theme relating to Google’s updates this time around have to do with local search results.  This is critical right now as more and more small businesses are going online.  In order for small businesses to be able to thrive, customers in their own neighborhoods must be able to find them, and with Google’s recent updates, this is becoming easier than ever—if you know how to optimize your site appropriately.

Of course these are just the highlights of February’s updates to the Google search engine.  There are a few others, but these are the most important ones that will apply to most website owners.  It is essential that you keep these changes in mind when creating new content for your sites.

Contact Avasoft for more details on all of the latest Google updates and watch your website finally begin to rise through the search engine rankings.