Google's search algorithm engineers have not had a lot of sleep recently that's for sure. Hot on the heels of the now infamous Google panda updates, comes one of its biggest changes yet to the way the search giant ranks results.
Say hello to the Google Fresher - a lean, mean algorithm machine designed to hunt out the very latest articles, videos products and other content and promote it to the highest eschelons of search.
For those great at producing authoratative content and updating their sites on a regular basis this is very good news indeed. It means those heavily linked to results for products, people and other high traffic terms that seem stuck to the top of the rankings may not be for much longer because GoogleBot is hungry - and it is now on a little and often diet as opposed to a glutonus once-every-blue-moon banquette.
The new algorithm has been built on Google's December 2010 Caffeine infrastructure which gave the ecosystem the ability to index and reindex much faster. Fresher is therefore the next step in that quest and Google's first attempt at classifying different verticals and searches based on the importance of recency. It means that NEW CONTENT WILL BE EVEN BETTER REWARDED.
Some Fresher Examples
The best way of getting your head around the changes is to appreciate the differences between a search that wouldn't be affected by the Fresher change and one that is.
So, say you're on the hunt for the best iPad case. Often the Amazons and other omnipresent retailers will be right at the top of the pile, waiting to lure you in with a small selection of the MOST POPULAR covers around. It's there because Google loves Amazon and in turn we buy trailers full of goods from the site, but that's not to say something new, something better out there hasn't been invented. In this instance Google SHOULD now allow more innovative products to gain visibility based on recency as opposed to overall reputation of the site it sits on.
We've all been there, struggling to choose from the four or five different offerings those top three or four sites offer and you soon realise that search engines suck in this space. There has to be a better way of surfacing better products and Fresher is the first step in trying to achieve this.
The same could be true of any product that may have numerous iterations such as in the gadget, automotive and leisure gear markets as well as the obvious news and information channels (hence why one in every three searches is affected).
Fresher Free Waters
But what of those searches for which recency is not so much of a factor? Such as when you're searching for the very best antique cut crystal glasses or quality log store. Its here that the Fresher algorithms' ability shines through as it will avoid tinkering with these verticals, leaving them instead to its other algo filters based more on reputation.
What does it all Mean
For the site owner it makes one thing very clear: If you haven't already you had better get your content strategy in order asap because either Panda or Fresh is going to hurt you if you don't.
But it also presents just as much of an opportunity as it does a threat because it means that with the right content and product strategy you have a MUCH better chance of gaining some business changing visibility. Fresh really is the incentive we've all been waiting for to get writing again...
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog, it was written by Simon Penson, Founder and Managing Director of Zazzle Media.
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