There was a blog post on the Inside Search Google blog a few days ago, it has a brief summary of the recent algorithm changes and it also has an excellent video discussing how they test potential changes to the algorithm (see below).
So what are these algorithm changes and what are the potential effects for SEOs?
Here are some of the more significant ones for SEOs:
Fresh Results = Good
First up is the “fresher” results update, affecting 35% of search queries. This, quite obviously, means that the more recent your content the higher it is likely to rank for some search terms – so blogs are likely to be more important now.
They’ve also made a change regarding how well treated date based queries are – so correctly labelling the date on your articles is probably more important – although I guess they will go from the first crawl time.
Google Is Better At Working Out Templates
Secondly, they’ve done an update which will ignore more sitewide template text and instead concentrate on the the text in the main content when creating snippets. Whether this will affect meta descriptions I’m not sure, but I doubt it – I believe it’s probably in place if you don’t use a meta description.
Duplicated Anchor Text Is Less Relevant
They are also not placing much emphasis on duplicated inlink anchor text for determining page titles, for those that use title tags this is no biggie – but it may highlight a potential similar algorithmic change where they don’t place as much emphasis on duplicated anchor text (something which a lot of people have talked about recently – and I’ve noticed it myself) as they talked about it being “less relevant”.
An Image Related Algo Is No More
I don’t quite understand this one, but an image related algorithm has been retired apparently, where a single image was referenced from multiple parts of the web. Dave’s just had a look at this, it appears as though they are now detecting copies of images – we’re not sure whether it does this through filename, date, size or even by image recognition.
Official Page Detection
Basically if you are the official website for something e.g. Justin Bieber’s official site, you are likely to appear higher in the SERPS – hopefully at the top spot I would expect. I felt like Google was already doing a good job at this, but thinking about it, if a site isn’t setup for SEO it can often be outranked for its brand term.
Anyways, check out the original post and see what you can get from it – if you notice anything that I may have missed, please come back and comment!