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Google Freshness Algo Tweak

     
3:35 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google Freshness Algo Tweak [googleblog.blogspot.com]
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.
  • 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.
  • 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].
  • Frequent updates. There are also searches for information that changes often, but isn’t really a hot topic or a recurring event.
  • 9:37 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Update: Google says when page is first crawled is one of signals to determine freshness


    Ouch, so someone who plans an event 6 months in advance may actually get spooked out by a scraper, who mashes content like "Whats hot this week", listing the dates of the event.

    As far as QDF or a freshness algo, its not too relevant for me when "Santorum" the presidential candidate is still outranked by the urban definition.

    Disclaimer - I am in no way a supporter or related to either Santorum or the Urban dictionary. Just noticed the lack of freshness on the query.
    10:15 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Freshness can help the small guy. How else can someone just starting out get his stuff seen. A few years ago I checking the results of a page once and finding it was right at the top of the results. I had just written it a few minutes before checking the SERPS. Over the next day or so it started dropping, but for those days I made money from that page.

    As per their new algo change - 35 percent seems big. I will have to wait until the end of the day to see how many pages were viewed in Analytics - and then compare it to how many pages were viewed each day over the last week or two.

    Freshness could help spammers. It looks like some people are already considering changes to their routine.
    10:35 pm on Nov 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Not sure this is related, but can't see any reason why not. One of my sites has tripled its organic Google referals today. No external real world factors influencing anything, just a lot more traffic from Google. The keywords are nicely spread over various different themes. All very on topic, thpugh I notice that most of the searches are related to an Adwords campaign that's beginning to bear fruit. A coincidence?
    1:18 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    I'm in a niche like the sports scores example. If a site in my niche hasn't been updated in a week, it is next to useless.

    I publish update dates prominently on my site and many of my competitors don't. I think that this change looks good for my site. According to Google analytics I already have about 90% of the traffic compared to last Thursday with 6 hours still to go.
    1:34 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    One thing I use Google a lot for is error messages.


    Me too. I often search for an error message to see if there are any solutions. Microsoft content is the worst offender (Google Search) because I usually get results for older OSs, not Win 7, which I use.

    I haven't looked at those old pages to see if they are being rejuvenated by something Microsoft does, or they simply have lots of links on account of their age.

    I checked some old pages that rank well and so far they haven't budged. I hope that this update fixes the help/forum results so that we get fresher results at the top, e.g. Win 7 higher than Vista, then older OS, all on page 1. (Not suggesting that Win XP is sent to page 999)
    2:39 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Is this officially rolled or is it still on the table ? I see no mintnessness of the result other then the news stuff, and fresh pages at 950+ lol.
    4:35 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Google claims it's a move towards freshness and it affects 35% of searches (an irresponsible number in my opinion but anyway).

    The REAL question is now best quoted by the Movie Top gun.

    Maverick, what's been hit? What's been hit? We've lost Hollywood.


    What's been hit?
    5:53 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Our dollar amount was off by 30 percent. BUT, the traffic was up compared to last Thursday and also the number of pages viewed was up about 25 percent. It is strange that the dollars were so low with the heavy traffic and # of pages viewed.
    10:23 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    35% is a big honking number in this context.


    Last time Google said this will only affect 12% (Panda), they dang near broke the serps. What will 35% do?
    11:47 am on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Anybody actually see difference in traffic to their websites ?
    I am noticing that my traffic is up considering previous Fridays.
    12:31 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    netmeg wrote:
    Also, tweeted from Danny Sullivan:

    Update: Google says when page is first crawled is one of signals to determine freshness

    Not sure how THAT is gonna play out. Whoosh. Well, nobody said this internet stuff would be easy. At least, not recently.

    Time to crank up Googlebot's crawl rate in WMT, hope that it sees the content on your site before it sees it on a scraper's site, and suck up the increased resource usage?

    --
    Ryan
    1:18 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    At a tangent. Does Googlebot take notice of

    <changefreq></changefreq>
    in sitemap.xml?
    1:42 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Well a QDF query must promote fresh content otherwise there would be no point doing it and 35% is a huge number - crazy huge considering what they are talking about.

    This would mean every site would need some sort of fresh content
    1:55 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Anybody actually see difference in traffic to their websites?


    I don't see anybody posting a specific date that this tweak took hold, but on November 2/3 I saw a big jump in referrals.

    I was thinking that maybe my 4 months of changes finally jumped me out of Panda's box, but it might be the freshness tweak.

    I don't have a ton of fresh content, but I add 5-10 pages weekly and all my competitors maybe add a page a month or most of them nothing.
    2:11 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    And why should it? Should some guy in his garage be expected to produce as much, or be given as much business, as the 500-employee factory down the street?

    What does production have to do with it? But to answer your question, Yes. Isn't that how Google started?
    2:26 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    At a tangent. Does Googlebot take notice of

    <changefreq></changefreq> in sitemap.xml?

    I see no evidence that Google pays attention to that. It's a joke.
    3:52 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Propools wrote:
    What does production have to do with it?

    MrSavage was expressing concern that it's somehow unfair that those who have the ability to produce fresh content quickly are rewarded more than those who do not. All other things being equal, there's absolutely nothing unfair about that situation.

    Of course, "reward" is relative. If you're pulling in 100% more than you're spending, and that enterprise you're competing with is only doing 50%, I'd say you're being rewarded far more than that enterprise, even if the enterprise is in the #1 spot and you're not.

    But to answer your question, Yes. Isn't that how Google started?

    That's how they started, yes, but that's not how they were at the point they surpassed the top search engines at the time. They didn't just sit in their garage and expect to beat out Yahoo, Lycos, and Alta Vista with the same resources that they started out with; they grew their operation.

    --
    Ryan
    6:46 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Well, Matt and Amit are coming to Pubcon. Since Amit is the core algo engineer - what should we ask him?

    [pubcon.com...]
    6:58 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Since Amit is the core algo engineer - what should we ask him?
    Why have I been forced to lay-off my employees due to the lack of traffic, and hence, revenue. I wouldn't be polite I'm afraid so it's lucky I'm not going.
    9:09 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Since Amit is the core algo engineer - what should we ask him?


    Please ask him -

    Are they still use "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine [infolab.stanford.edu]" in their algo?
    10:36 pm on Nov 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Please ask him -

    Are they still use "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine [infolab.stanford.edu]" in their algo?


    +1
    12:19 am on Nov 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Time for a two tiered internal link structure, a timeless section and a fresh section. Making sure pages in the timeless section always remains tops for their respective keywords while creating fresh pages for more longtail results isn't going to be easy. I loathe google's insistence on cloak and dagger changes, the fact remains that the best content is being determined by a machine and like it or not your site may not have an optimal build...

    Amit fancies himself a scientist, what we need is the engineer back before we all go mad.
    8:03 am on Nov 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Amit fancies himself a scientist, what we need is the engineer back before we all go mad.


    May be google needs fresh minds a lot more than their QDF... lol
    8:44 am on Nov 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    But I would say that this is a good change if they do it for the right searches...

    QDF has been around for sometime now but had never been effective for the right searches and was unfortunately triggered for the wrong searches...since it is not something new as it is made out (except for the % of queries for which they seem to be introducing it), users should expect to see much better results this time around...

    But the blog post seem to be presenting it as some kind of a "fresh" change when it is really "old wine in a new bottle".This makes me a bit uncomfortable as he might be hinting at more flux, poor results and lots of "screams".
    9:34 am on Nov 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    May be google needs fresh minds a lot more than their QDF... lol


    Spot on!

    IMO, panda is the most fundamental algo tweak since google was basically invented. It represent a major shift in all factors of ranking and the almost complete abandonment of page rank and link relationships.

    It is an ill faited attempt at reinventing this search engine. An attempt, lead by a bunch of clueless multinationals smart scientists wanna bees. The only difference now is that no one at google seems to give a damn about all them good quality websites that are being so negatively affected. No one seems to give a damn about the junk non converting traffic so many web sites are reporting recently.

    To think that in a "civilised world", crap like that can be pulled and in broad day light, Sending broke millions of businesses around the world, virtualy at a flick of a switch is simply beyond belief.

    If only the Bing gung was smart enough to show up some much needed "freshness" and offer good incentive to webmasters. Google would have been HISTORY within exactly a couple of months.

    Until then, Google will continue to hold the web by the balls and we webmasters will have to continue to put up with the ongoing idiotic/laughable/moronic "fresh" algo tweaks set upon us by some NOT TOO SMART new kids at the plex.

    Google search is an absolute mess and webmasters from all around the world are bleeding as a direct result!

    <end rant>
    2:09 pm on Nov 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    It is an ill faited attempt at reinventing this search engine. An attempt, lead by a bunch of clueless multinationals smart scientists wanna bees. The only difference now is that no one at google seems to give a damn about all them good quality websites that are being so negatively affected. No one seems to give a damn about the junk non converting traffic so many web sites are reporting recently.


    I kinda like this guy !
    2:53 pm on Nov 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    All conspiracy theories left behind...

    Put yourself in Google's shoes, I'd do the same thing.

    Whether intentional or not, you made a change to your core product line. The result an increase in profit. Probably because people are spending more time on their Google trying to sift through crappy results, what ever.

    As a public company are you going to make an instant change, if your profits are up as a result; I think not.

    They made their bed, now they are trying to figure out the implications, if they lay in it.
    3:57 pm on Nov 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Wait a second - Bing DOES have a great freshness feature under news. Look up a hot story, like Hilary Adams. On the main page, you get the latest stories, which is what you probably want if you're following her story. But go to the News tab, and there's more of the latest, but look at the right - There's a "most recent" list with stories that are no more than a few hours old. And I'm finding exactly what I want on that story through it.

    Meanwhile, all Google articles are at least a day old on this topic.

    Bing is really doing a better job than Google in many areas right now, it's just people don't know about it. Check out their driving directions - they give you landmarks now, which is awesome if you aren't familiar with the street you're looking for next.
    5:59 pm on Nov 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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    Although my % of overall traffic from Bing has not increased markedly lately the % of useful traffic going to my site from Bing has risen dramatically.
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