Google has shared its latest search quality updates; 53 changes in all for April.
April was exciting with a lot of changes including two Panda updates within 8 days and then the Penguin. Here is a brief overview of some of the big ticket items in the latest search quality updates list:
Increase in the size of base index
The base index size of Google has increased by 15%. It can now show 15% more web pages and documents in the search results.
A new index tier has also been launched. Indexing is usually done in tiers depending on how relevant a particular document is to the user. From April, there will be an additional tier to further improve the relevancy of search results.
Search engine ranking for search terms
One of the most basic search signals is the presence of search terms on your page and how they appear. The new update improves the way these search terms are scored.
Google has improved their keyword stuffing classifiers. Could this perhaps be one of the first steps towards penalizing “over-optimization” as Matt Cutts had talked about earlier?
Elimination of domain crowding
Sometimes a search may display too many results from the same domain. Google has now made changes to facilitate retrieval of content from more diverse domains.
Sitelinks and megasitelinks are the extra links that sometimes show up below a top search result. The new changes will dig deeper into megasitelinks and show sub-sitelinks. The ranking of megasitelinks will also be improved, along with reduction in snippet duplication in expanded sitelinks.
Changes for Google Places
For local search results, local searches with location terms will ranks local navigational homepages in top spots even when the page does not mention the location. Websites, sub-domains and directories that are relevant to each country or geographical location will be ranked according to how relevant it is to the search location. Two people searching using the search terms will not get identical results, if they are in two different locations.
There are also some other minor updates. To read the entire list, head over to Google’s search blog.