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Google Search Quality Changes For April 2012


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#1 Jill

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:37 PM

Google's made 53 changes for April to their algorithm in April.

Let's discuss!

A few of my favs:
  • Improvements to how search terms are scored in ranking. [launch codename "Bi02sw41"] One of the most fundamental signals used in search is whether and how your search terms appear on the pages you’re searching. This change improves the way those terms are scored.
  • More domain diversity. [launch codename "Horde", project codename "Domain Crowding"] Sometimes search returns too many results from the same domain. This change helps surface content from a more diverse set of domains.
  • Improvements to local navigational searches. [launch codename "onebar-l"] For searches that include location terms, e.g. [dunston mint seattle] or [Vaso Azzurro Restaurant 94043], we are more likely to rank the local navigational homepages in the top position, even in cases where the navigational page does not mention the location.
  • No freshness boost for low-quality content. [launch codename “NoRot”, project codename “Freshness”] We have modified a classifier we use to promote fresh content to exclude fresh content identified as particularly low-quality.
  • Keyword stuffing classifier improvement. [project codename "Spam"] We have classifiers designed to detect when a website is keyword stuffing. This change made the keyword stuffing classifier better.
  • Fewer autocomplete predictions leading to low-quality results. [launch codename "Queens5", project codename "Autocomplete"] We’ve rolled out a change designed to show fewer autocomplete predictions leading to low-quality results.
  • More authoritative results. We’ve tweaked a signal we use to surface more authoritative content.

And a couple I'm not thrilled with:
  • More concise and/or informative titles. [launch codename "kebmo"] We look at a number of factors when deciding what to show for the title of a search result. This change means you’ll find more informative titles and/or more concise titles with the same information.
  • Better query interpretation. This launch helps us better interpret the likely intention of your search query as suggested by your last few searches.
What do you think?

#2 chrishirst

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:34 PM

I like this one!

No freshness boost for low-quality content. [launch codename “NoRot”, project codename “Freshness”] We have modified a classifier we use to promote fresh content to exclude fresh content identified as particularly low-quality.


That should elicit some "Oh NO! NO! The sky is falling" reponses from the "Fresh content" MFA sploggers!

Better query interpretation. This launch helps us better interpret the likely intention of your search query as suggested by your last few searches.

This makes perfect sense for Google's users, depending on what the mean by "last few searches", because not many real people are going to search for something radically different in three or four consecutive searches.

Edited by chrishirst, 05 May 2012 - 05:06 PM.


#3 Jill

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:18 AM

This makes perfect sense for Google's users, depending on what the mean by "last few searches", because not many real people are going to search for something radically different in three or four consecutive searches.


Agree, but it stinks for most of my searches which are business related and can be completely different topics. (I just do toolbar searches instead and that mitigates this "problem.")

#4 bloghands

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 01:42 PM

I'm really glad to see that Google has started notifying us of these updates every month but most of them raise more questions than they answer. I guess there's nothing new there... we've always had to read between the lines when Matt Cutts or the Google blogs posted anything before so I guess this is no different. It seems like this year they just being more vocal to the community and it kinda feel like a scare tactic. It's probably more scary to blackhat SEOs but I think the majority of SEO firms out there fit in the grey area.

Google being so vocal just means SEO is about to get more expensive and low cost / quick return SEO is just about dead. If you want to be a success online from this point forward you need to forget about over-optimizing your site, getting tons of low quality links and just start focusing on word of mouth and really being an active brand online.




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