It’s the first Friday of the month, and that seems to be when Google has decided to push out its monthly update of search tweaks from the prior month. The January update is out and it contains a few interesting nuggets.
Panda In The Pipelines
There’s a mention of the Panda algorithm update that we wrote about last week, but it also includes a somewhat cryptic reference to being more integrated into Google’s “pipelines.”
We improved how Panda interacts with our indexing and ranking systems, making it more integrated into our pipelines.
Sounds like Panda is baked into things even more firmly than before, which I guess is bad news for any sites that were affected negatively over the past year.
Google says it made several “minor updates” to the freshness algorithm update that happened back in November.
On a somewhat similar note, the update also says that Google has improved how it detects the date of a web page (document), and that means searchers should see “fresher, more timely results, particularly for pages discussing recurring events.”
There are two updates related to autocomplete: Google says it’s now faster at delivering predicted queries, and the spelling corrections are now “more consistent with those used in search.”
Speaking of spelling…
Google says it’s doing a better job with “full-page replacement” — i.e., showing an entire page of results for a correctly spelled word and ignoring the searcher’s misspelled word/query. There’s also a change that Google says will help it give more accurate spelling corrections for rare queries.
Google says it’s improved how it decides when to blend news results into the search results page. The change makes Google “more responsive to realtime trends.”
That’s a quick overview of about half of the January tweaks on Google’s list. Here’s the full list on Google’s Inside Search blog.