Google makes search results fresher and more up-to-date

3 Nov 2011

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Google has made a significant improvement to its ranking algorithm that will impact 35pc of searches – promising more up-to-date and relevant results.

Last year, Google’s Matt Cutts revealed how Google’s new Caffeine web indexing system prepared the search giant for a world that no longer relies solely on computers but on the 4bn-plus mobile devices in the world.

In that sense, a search on a mobile device infers the need to get up-to-the-minute information, rather than historical information.

“With Caffeine, we analyse the web in small portions and update our search index on a continuous basis, globally. As we find new pages, or new information on existing pages, we can add these straight to the index. That means you can find fresher information than ever before — no matter when or where it was published,” Cutts explained at the time.

Today, Google revealed the new indexing system will mean searches will now include recent events, hot topics, regularly recurring events and the content will be frequently updated.

Without specifying in your keywords, the index will automatically provide the most recent event related to your search rather than an old event.

“Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute, and depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out if a result from a week ago about a TV show is recent, or if a result from a week ago about breaking news is too old,” explained Google Fellow Amit Singhal.

“We completed our Caffeine web indexing system last year, which allows us to crawl and index the web for fresh content quickly on an enormous scale. Building upon the momentum from Caffeine, today we’re making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm that impacts roughly 35pc of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness."

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com