Monday, November 14, 2011

Ten Recent Google algorithm changes


  • Cross-language information retrieval updates: For queries in languages where limited web content is available (Afrikaans, Malay, Slovak, Swahili, Hindi, Norwegian, Serbian, Catalan, Maltese, Macedonian, Albanian, Slovenian, Welsh, Icelandic), we will now translate relevant English web pages and display the translated titles directly below the English titles in the search results. This feature was available previously in Korean, but only at the bottom of the page. Clicking on the translated titles will take you to pages translated from English into the query language.
  • Snippets with more page content and less header/menu content: This change helps us choose more relevant text to use in snippets. As we improve our understanding of web page structure, we are now more likely to pick text from the actual page content, and less likely to use text that is part of a header or menu.
  • Better page titles in search results by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors: 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 improvement reduces the number of long, sometimes arbitrary query predictions in Russian. We will not make predictions that are very long in comparison either to the partial query or to the other predictions for that partial query. This is already our practice in English.
  • Extending application rich snippets: We recently announced rich snippets for applications. This enables people who are searching for software applications to see details, like cost and user reviews, within their search results. This change extends the coverage of application rich snippets, so they will be available more often.
  • Retiring a signal in Image search: 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.
  • Fresher, more recent results: As we announced just over a week ago, we’ve made a significant improvement to how we rank fresh content. This change impacts roughly 35 percent of total searches (around 6-10% of search results to a noticeable degree) and better determines the appropriate level of freshness for a given query.
  • Refining official page detection: 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.
  • Improvements to date-restricted queries: We changed how we handle result freshness for queries where a user has chosen a specific date range. This helps ensure that users get the results that are most relevant for the date range that they specify.
  • Prediction fix for IME queries: This change improves how Auto-complete handles IME queries (queries which contain non-Latin characters). Auto-complete was previously storing the intermediate keystrokes needed to type each character, which would sometimes result in gibberish predictions for Hebrew, Russian and Arabic.
Source: http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2011/11/ten-recent-algorithm-changes.html
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Google Update 2011: Next to Panda: Giving you fresher, more recent search results



Google announced they are rolling out a new search algorithm change that helps make the search results “fresher.” The big news here is that besides for the results being fresher, the results will change for about 35% of all searches.


Now Google changed their search algorithm to show fresher results, fresher than ever before.


That is larger than the Panda Update which impacted 12% of the searches conducted.


What type of searches does it impact? Google said:
  • 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.

Sources:

http://searchengineland.com/google-search-algorithm-change-for-freshness-to-impact-35-of-searches-99856
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/giving-you-fresher-more-recent-search.html

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Google Ads at the bottom of the Search page



November 02, 2011 - We’ve been seeing tests for months, and this week Google officially announced it would begin serving AdWords at the bottom of search engine results pages on Google.com. Interestingly, the company says that, in tests, the ads at the bottom performed better than those on the side of the page.

Google says ads at the bottom fit “better into the user’s flow as they scan the page from top to bottom.”
Sources

http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-ad-placements-on-search.html
http://searchengineland.com/google-officially-rolls-out-ads-at-the-bottom-of-serps-99768
http://searchengineland.com/adwords-appear-at-bottom-of-serps-in-new-apparent-test-87704

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Tool: Google Analytics URL Builder



Fill the information in the form below and click the Generate URL button.

If you're new to tagging links or this is your first time using this tool, read http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55518


If your Google Analytics account has been linked to an active AdWords account, there's no need to tag your AdWords links - auto tagging will do it for you automatically.
URL Builder is not for your web site, it's for the marketing of your web site. For example, you have a particular banner on a particular 3rd party site. By using URL Builder GA will be able to better track the incoming traffic from that particular banner on that particular site. Without it, you would just see traffic coming from that site without being able to attribute it to a specific banner. If you have more than one banner on that 3rd party site then the use of URL Builder becomes even more important.

Sources

http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55596
http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55578
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google%20Analytics/thread?tid=2c703c106ffdb8ad

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What is Google's Quality Rater


Google employs so-called quality raters. These are the people who manually check Google's search results to make sure that the ranking algorithm is working as expected.

A quality rater visits the sites that Google returns for a query and then evaluates the results based on relevance. If a website does not fit in the search results, Google's quality raters can mark a website as spam.

The quality rater handbook contains the guidelines that quality raters use to evaluate web pages.

Although Google quickly removed the link to the handbook after it leaked, we could take a look at it.

Here are the most important takeaways from the quality rater handbook:

http://www.free-seo-news.com/newsletter497.htm
          http://searchengineland.com/the-google-quality-raters-handbook-13575

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