Changes to Google Search, March 2012

In March, Google made some 50 changes to the Google Search Engine — all positive and will have a huge impact on websites and current SEO.

The changes to Google Search include items such as:

  • Better indexing of profile pages. [launch codename “Prof-2”] This change improves the comprehensiveness of public profile pages in the Google index from more than two-hundred social sites
  • High-quality sites algorithm data update and freshness improvements. [launch codename mm, project codename Panda] Like many of the changes Google make, aspects of the high-quality sites algorithm depend on processing that’s done offline and pushed. In the past month, Google has pushed updated data for Panda
  • Live results for UEFA Champions League and KHL. Google have added live-updating snippets in search results for the KHL (Russian Hockey League) and UEFA Champions League, including scores and schedules. Now you can find live results from a variety of sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL and others
  • Tennis search feature. [launch codename DoubleFault] Google have introduced a new search feature to provide real time tennis scores at the top of the search results page. Try [maria sharapova] or [sony ericsson open]
  • Fresher image predictions in all languages. [launch codename Imagine2, project codename Suggest] Google recently rolled out a change to surface more relevant image search predictions in autocomplete in English. This improvement extends the update to all languages
  • Tweaks to handling of anchor text. [launch codename PC]. This makes for better quality link scores
  • Fewer undesired synonyms. [project codename Synonyms] When you search on Google, it often identifies other search terms that might have the same meaning as what you entered in the box (synonyms) and surface results for those terms as well when it might be helpful. This month they tweaked a classifier to prevent unhelpful synonyms from being introduced as content in the results set
  • Better handling of queries with both navigational and local intent
  • Better local results and sources in Google News
  • Improvements to Image Search relevance
  • Tweaks to language detection in autocomplete

For the full list of changes see Google Inside Search.