May 5, 2012 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Google has released a list search updates that came in to effect in the month of April. This is apart from the Penguin update, Panda 3.5 Refresh and the Panda 3.6 Rollout that has happened in the last couple of weeks. 53 changes that affect search results.

So, here are the most important changes that Google has made:

New, Bigger Index Tier

  • Google has increased the size of its base index by 15 percent. Quoting Google,
  • “Increase base index size by 15%. [project codename "Indexing"] The base search index is our main index for serving search results and every query that comes into Google is matched against this index. This change increases the number of documents served by that index by 15%. *Note: We’re constantly tuning the size of our different indexes and changes may not always appear in these blog posts.
  • New index tier. [launch codename "cantina", project codename "Indexing"] We keep our index in “tiers” where different documents are indexed at different rates depending on how relevant they are likely to be to users. This month we introduced an additional indexing tier to support continued comprehensiveness in search results.”

Sitelinks Updates

  • There have been changes made in sitelinks and megasitelinks as well, and now sub-sitelinks will be shown instead of the normal snippet. The ranking of the megasitelinks will also be improved. Quoting Google,
  •  “Sub-sitelinks” in expanded sitelinks. [launch codename "thanksgiving"] This improvement digs deeper into megasitelinks by showing sub-sitelinks instead of the normal snippet.
  • Better ranking of expanded sitelinks. [project codename "Megasitelinks"] This change improves the ranking of megasitelinks by providing a minimum score for the sitelink based on a score for the same URL used in general ranking.
  • Sitelinks data refresh. [launch codename "Saralee-76"] Sitelinks (the links that appear beneath some search results and link deeper into the site) are generated in part by an offline process that analyzes site structure and other data to determine the most relevant links to show users. We’ve recently updated the data through our offline process. These updates happen frequently (on the order of weeks).
  • Less snippet duplication in expanded sitelinks. [project codename "Megasitelinks"] We’ve adopted a new technique to reduce duplication in the snippets of expanded sitelinks.”

Ranking Updates

  • A number of ranking updates have been brought in like authoritative results and more domain diversity. Quoting Google,
  • "Improvements to how search terms are scored in ranking. [launch codename "Bi02sw41"] One of the most fundamental signals used in search is whether and how your search terms appear on the pages you’re searching. This change improves the way those terms are scored.
  • Keyword stuffing classifier improvement. [project codename "Spam"] We have classifiers designed to detect when a website is keyword stuffing. This change made the keyword stuffing classifier better."

Other changes include that Google can now identify the correct local result for certain navigational searches whether the page has been well optimized for local search or not.

What do you think of all these changes? Do you find any that catch your eye? Do share your views.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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