Posted November 3, 2011 1:30 pm by with 5 comments

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Google has announced an algorithmic change that is supposed to impact some 35% of searches. That’s a big number. The trouble is it’s going to be pretty hard to determine what 35% of searches that is. It’s like when I used to work in the insurance business. We would be trained to tell a prospect who was interested in life insurance that we knew exactly how many people would die each day, the problem was that we just didn’t know who (sign here Mr. Prospect). Now Google is telling publishers and their SEO’s to “sign here”.

In the Google blog post announcing his change we are told

Search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshing fruit on a hot summer’s day, are best when they’re fresh. Even if you don’t specify it in your search, you probably want search results that are relevant and recent.

We completed our Caffeine web indexing system last year, which allows us to crawl and index the web for fresh content quickly on an enormous scale. Building upon the momentum from Caffeine, today we’re making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35 percent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness.

This sure is interesting talk coming from a company that has been working real hard to clean up their results from fresh spam. Now it seems the reward of good rankings is being placed with those who can produce the freshest results. Anyone for relevance and accuracy?

The post continues

Different searches have different freshness needs. This algorithmic improvement is designed to better understand how to differentiate between these kinds of searches and the level of freshness you need, and make sure you get the most up to the minute answers.

Google differentiates its Caffeine update as structural while this latest update as being algorithmic. That’s the words that no one wants to hear in the SEO world. If Panda was a content farm sweep then this yet to be named algorithmic update promises to make everyone take notice.

They give some convenient examples of how this might work and make sense but it will be when this hits across the board where we will see where the damage (or improvement) occurs. Don’t think for a second that there are not SEO’s and the like reaching for a clean pair of underwear upon hearing this latest news. For the record here are the examples that Google gave in their post. It’s up to you to extrapolate where this might impact your business, if at all.

Recent events or hot topics. For recent events or hot topics that begin trending on the web, you want to find the latest information immediately. Now when you search for current events like [occupy oakland protest], or for the latest news about the [nba lockout], you’ll see more high-quality pages that might only be minutes old.

Regularly recurring events. Some events take place on a regularly recurring basis, such as annual conferences like [ICALP] or an event like the [presidential election]. Without specifying with your keywords, it’s implied that you expect to see the most recent event, and not one from 50 years ago. There are also things that recur more frequently, so now when you’re searching for the latest [NFL scores], [dancing with the stars] results or [exxon earnings], you’ll see the latest information.

Frequent updates. There are also searches for information that changes often, but isn’t really a hot topic or a recurring event. For example, if you’re researching the [best slr cameras], or you’re in the market for a new car and want [subaru impreza reviews], you probably want the most up to date information.

Considering that most of these updates create huge upheaval in the SEO marketplace this will be interesting to watch. Many right now are hoping that they are part of the 65%. In most cases, it’s better to be left alone by these changes.

So what’s going through your Internet marketing mind about right now?

  • Cynthia Boris

    As a searcher, I’m happy to see a date priority on topics. I’m constantly using the data dropdown to screen out older content anyway.

    From a content producer standpoint – it’s business as usual. Write the best content I can, include trends when I can, hope for the best.

    • Amen.

      Ultimately, if you are writing well, telling your story and letting keywords happen in a natural way you will see benefit. it’s just that many work hard to game the system thus restricting the reward for someone like yourself.

      Oh well. Who said life was fair anyway?

  • This is why crap sites like will continue to rank for tons of keywords it shouldn’t.

  • Connor MacIvor

    It would be great to be able to search google from a place where my search habits would not influence the page. Are there any options for this?