Google announced another adjustment to the search algorithm on November 3, 2011. Effective immediately, it places a higher priority on "fresheness" of content when presenting search results. The release statement includes several examples where, Amit Singhal says, most people would prefer to see recent results to older results.

Below are links to three search results from four of examples for which Amit says you will likely prefer the most recent information.

Google Bing Yahoo
Olympics Olympics Olympics
Occupy Oakland Protest Occupy Oakland Protest Occupy Oakland Protest
NBA Lockout NBA Lockout NBA Lockout
Presidential Election Presidential Election Presidential Election

Do you agree with Google?

Consider what you'd like to see in the above results and click on them. I was skeptical about the "Presidential Election" for example. I may just want to know how presidential elections work, not what's in the news today about it. But, I was pleased to see wikipedia's page on presidential elections come up first for Google. Maybe I want to see if "occupy Oakland" has a website. What happens if their is news about it which is more recent than their website? That same question could be asked for any organization with a website.

I'm sure that Google does more customer research than I do. And the results algorithm is so complex that adding one rule doesn't have a huge effect. It's not going to drive all our results. In fact, Google estimates that the new change impacts only 35% of searches in that "at least one result on the page was affected". This will not be noticable, they say, by most users.

What are your thoughts?

 

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