Top 10 Most Important Search Quality Highlights from Google

April 16, 2012 (1VIZABILITY.COM - Google News, SEO News)

A month ago, Inside Search, Google’s official Search Blog, has published 50 Search Quality Highlights featuring 50 changes in their search algorithm for the month of March. Among these 50 changes, there are 10 algorithm updates that are of most important to search marketers.  These changes greatly affect those search professionals who specializes in Google SEO.

Either you’re a search marketer or an online entrepreneur, below are the top 10 most important search quality changes in Google that you should be aware of.

1.  Improvement of Anchor Text Interpretation – This search quality change focuses more in improving interpretation and use of anchor text by determining the relevance of a given anchor for a given query or website.  Another update was also done in handling anchor text as Google turned off a component that they tend to use before (a classifier related to anchor text).  It has a launch codename “PC”.

2.  Improvement of Website Quality Detection – This involves on some improvements made to a longstanding system (the one they used to detect website quality).  This change allows them to classify websites more confidently as it yields high quality results.  This is in connection with their most popular website quality update with a launch codename “mm” and project codename “Panda” or the high quality sites data update and freshness improvements.

3.  Data Freshness Update in All Types of Queries – This is commonly known as Google’s Freshness Update which was only used for news-related traffic last year but has now been applied to all types of search queries.  This means that the newness of an article or blog posts is now given more importance in ranking website contents.  This update has a launch codename “Abacus” and a project codename “Freshness”.

4.  Improvement in Local and Navigational Searches – This update focuses on improving queries with both navigational and local intent.  The high numbers of searches which have both local intent and navigational were improved to show balanced results that help searchers find high quality and more relevant information on top of the search results page.  Navigational queries are searches which are directed towards a particular website.  This update has a launch codename “ShieldsUp”.

5.  Improvement for Universal Video Results – This search change has to do with their Freshness Update project with the launch codename “graphite”.  To improve their detection of stale videos, they made an improvement in the freshness of video results.  This means that regular video updates or creation is now important to rank video-related contents in Google search results pages.

6.  Improvement for Relevant Image Results – This involves an update that aims to provide better image search results by simplifying their code-base for Images Universal.    These changes are then utilized in their general web ranking.  This search update has a launch codename “Galactic Center”.

7.  Improvement for Indexing of Profile Pages – This search quality update improves better indexing of public profile pages from more than 200 social sites.  This is good news if you are also promoting your websites on major social media sites.  The more social site properties you have, the higher your online visibility will be.  The launch codename of this search query update is “Prof-2”.

8.  Improvement in Handling of Special Symbols – Google used to ignore punctuation marks and special symbols in queries before.  But, the high number and increasing volume of searches (that used special characters) prod them to implement improvements in indexing heavily used special characters.  You may read an in depth discussion of this search update here.

9.  Improvement in Date Detection for Forum and Blog Pages – This search query update improves Google Search algorithm in determining dates for forum and blog pages.  This can be linked to their Freshness Update but they don’t provide further explanation about this improvement.  This update is under a project with a codename “Dates” and a launch codename “fibyen”.

10.  Internationalizes + 1 Button in Search – The +1 button is one of Google’s search innovations in improving the quality and relevance of their search query results.  They already internationalized the button on the search results page to additional languages and domains.  This allows searchers to rate websites or or pages right on their search results page by clicking the +1 button.  Pages with high number of +1s are given more priority and relevance in search ranking.

Most of these search updates can directly affect your Website’s SEO performance and should be studied carefully to avoid downtimes such as penalties and de-indexations.

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Qamar Zaman
Chief Visionary at One SEO Company. An Internet Entrepreneur SEO & lawyer Internet marketing professional & Starbucks Lover.
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