Google results get fresher with search algorithm update

Google has tweaked its search algorithm to prioritise content for 'freshness' - helping the most recent information float to the top of its search results.

The change is said to affect around 35 per cent of searches, specifically those relating to recurring events, recent news and frequent updates.

Google fellow Amit Singhal, writing on The Official Google Blog, outlines how each type of search would be affected.

Using the Olympics as an example of a recurring event, Singhal writes: "If I search for [olympics], I probably want information about next summer's upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics."

The new "freshness algorithm" ensures that relevant, timely results float to the top.

"You'll see more high-quality pages that might only be minutes old," claims Singhal.

Frequently updated content refers to search terms such as products that change frequently - so, writes Todd Wassermann on Mashable, a search for "slr cameras" will now yield the most recent models first.

The new tweak extends the work of Caffeine, a Google initiative launched in December 2010. Caffeine, Google claimed, produced 50 per cent fresher results than the serach engine's previous index.

What effect the update will have is something that will be keenly watched by publishers the world over. Google's last big update, code-named Panda, released in February, caused outcry due to the way it shook up search listings, with many high profile sites losing valuable traffic.