Google has just announced 10 new changes to their algorithm and corresponding search results. In this post we will review these changes and how they will impact SEO best practices and strategy.
Cross-language information retrieval updates
In certain cases there is a limited amount of information listed on the internet for specific languages. When this is the case, Google will now translate relevant English web pages and display the translated titles just under the English titles in the search results. When you click on the translated title it will take you to page translated from English into that language. This feature may result in more traffic coming to English search results.
Snippets with more page content and less header/menu content
Google will now be displaying snippets more frequently from actual page content, opposed to displaying snippets from the header menu. This will make results a little more random, hope Google chooses something good to display!
Better page titles in search results by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors
According to Google, “We look at a number of signals when generating a page’s title. One signal is the anchor text in links pointing to the page. We found that boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as relevant, so we are putting less emphasis on these. The result is more relevant titles that are specific to the page’s content.
Length-based autocomplete predictions in Russian
This change is particular to Russian so it will not affect everyone. However it is good to be aware. The change will reduce the amount of long query predictions in the language. This has been a problem in that languages search space.
More application rich snippets
Google recently announced a new set of rich snippets for applications. This will allow people to find applications through greater detailed queries.
No more single image search
According to Google, “As the web evolves, we often revisit signals that we launched in the past that no longer appear to have a significant impact. In this case, we decided to retire a signal in Image Search related to images that had references from multiple documents on the web.
This update was announced a week ago however it is important to reiterate as it impacts 35 percent of searches. Google will be providing fresher, newer content in queries. You can read about the Google fresher update here.
A push for official page detection
Google has made a change that will allow them to better determine which webpage’s are official. In accordance, Google will rank sites they feel are official higher.
“We try hard to give our users the most relevant and authoritative results. With this change, we adjusted how we attempt to determine which pages are official. This will tend to rank official websites even higher in our ranking,” says Google
Improvements to date- restructure queries
When queries involve a specific date there are often certain qualities that must be present in the results. Because of this, Google ha changed how they handle freshness of queries when a date range is selected. This will simply give users more accurate results.
Prediction fix for IME queries
According to Google, “This change improves how Autocomplete handles IME queries (queries which contain non-Latin characters). Autocomplete was previously storing the intermediate keystrokes needed to type each character, which would sometimes result in gibberish predictions for Hebrew, Russian and Arabic.”
Google seemed almost skittish when they released this information. They have cautioned webmasters not to try to manipulate their websites data to perform better from a global search engine optimization perspective. Although these changes are numerous they do feel fairly insignificant. SEO Inc. will be keeping a close eye on how they alter search traffic.