With rapid changes in search quality, Google users need to note. For February, 40 new changes were made by Google, which included the Panda update.
Of all, we have handpicked six important changes, which are listed below:
A) Panda Update 3.3
Google says, “This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.”
Sounds very much like the Panda 3.2 update, which is described as a data refresh. It has no link to the ranking signals, which Google considers in its search algorithm.
B) Evaluation of Links
According to the post, Google will no longer be evaluating links based on a method they have been using for years. This is what has been mentioned – “We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years.”
According to Google’s policy, there would not be any further clarification. However, suspiciously, one might think that is it a genuine attempt or a move to further mess up SEO heads.
C) Improved Rankings for Local Search Results
Google’s statement about launch codename “Venice”, has an emphasis on basic ranking factors as per Google’s algorithm. It will now play an important part in triggering local search results.
It’s likely that universal organic results will be placed above the local pack for some search queries. For example, a search for “Shoes” has Shoes.com, DSW.com and ALDOShoes.com ranking above the local pack now. Below is a screen-shot of what we are seeing:
The post mentions “We launched a new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user”.
However, as a fact, the results might not be relevant as some of the stores do not have an actual physical location in the area where the search was done (they deal online). But, this may be helpful for national brands that don’t have a presence in some areas.
In addition, the post mentions, “We launched a new system to find results from a user’s city more reliably. Now we’re better able to detect when both queries and documents are local to the user”.
For a better understanding, refer this blog post from seomoz.org.
D) Fresher Results for Google Images
Launch codename “tumeric” stresses on fresh images. This means that Google will rank most recent images quickly.
Search by image on Google, and check the ‘Past Week’ option. You will see text along with the images, which might say 1 day ago, 2 days ago or XX hours ago.
E) Less Duplication in Expanded Sitelinks
The focus of launch codename “thanksgiving” [project codename “Megasitelinks”] was on reducing duplication in the snippets for expanded sitelinks.
Expectations from this update; relevant sitelinks based on content and somewhat traffic, as well. For example, if you have one section on your site, which receives more traffic than others. It’s more likely to show up in the new Google sitelinks.
F) More Relevant Local YouTube Results
Talking about project codename “Suggest”, Google has worked on improving the ranking, as far as predictions are concerned in YouTube. This will help in providing more locally relevant queries.
Below is the “Location Filter” that comes up on the site to help YouTube provide relevant results according to your location.
Below are some other updates to be considered on the Blog Post
- More coverage for related searches
- More accurate detection of official pages
- “Site:” query update
- Update to the Google bar
- Improvements to travel-related searches
- International launch of shopping rich snippets
- Improved snippets for video channels
- SafeSearch update
Is there any other changes in the Google’s algorithm you have experienced in past few days? You can share your insights with us by commenting below.