Google’s latest algorithm change takes a cue from its Web indexing system introduced in 2010, known as Caffeine, which lets the engine crawl as well as index the Web for any new content fast, keeping in mind the parameters of freshness that vary from one domain to another.
Google’s search scientists are constantly striving to devise new signals in order to improve the base and depth of search results ranking. A signal is essentially quantitative learning from a specific document or query, or their combination, which can help yield better results. The algorithms rely on over 200 unique signals, some of which you would expect, such as how frequently the search terms surfaces on the webpage, if they are in the title or whether the search terms’ synonyms occur on the webpage.
It’s then implemented on Google’s test version. Both ‘before& after’ results pages are created and given to ‘raters’ specially trained to evaluate overall search quality. Based on the feedback – positive or negative, the company might opt to run what it calls a ‘live experiment’, to try out the updated algorithm on a rather small percentage of users to check (also termed a ‘Sandbox’), for example, how many of them actually click or skip the new top result.
There are plenty of instances where results even a few years old might still be relevant owing to their timelessness (recipes etc) On the other hand, when you are searching for the updates of your favorite game, a result that is a day old might be considered dated. This is something that Google has taken into consideration. In addition to some of these changes made to the overall look and feel of search, it has made it even easier to check Instant Previews of search results.
At times, a user is looking for a page with a particular type of visual, for example a seating chart while buying baseball tickets. But a ubiquitous results page can’t tell which one would have exactly what you want. Or you have already checked a specific webpage and would spot it instantly if you revisited it. You can now glance at a page preview sans having to click & see if it’s the one you are looking for.
This new layout may surface on the results page for an array of places like restaurants, hotels, museums, local businesses, landmarks etc. So it becomes easier check details like visiting hours, ‘how to reach’ directions, and get the nearest transit stops, while planning your visit, from a simple search. Even if you are not searching for any particular place by name, you can know about places and then quickly decide which ones are suitable for you. Google is rolling out the enhanced local search experience in over 40 languages.