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Google refreshes search algorithm

Priyanka Joshi  |  Mumbai 

Search giant Google has tweaked its search algorithm to include recent results for searches. The will now produce results with the most recent information related to trending, recurring and frequently-updated search topics.

“We are making a significant improvement to our ranking algorithm, which impacts roughly 35 per cent of searches and better determines when to give you more up-to-date relevant results for these varying degrees of freshness,” wrote Google Fellow, Amit Singhal, on the company's official blog.

Google carries out about 500 changes to its search algorithms every year. The updated search algorithm would be implemented on search platforms across both web and mobile devices. According to Statcounter data, Google Search accounts for a whopping 97 per cent of the market share in India, followed by Search and Microsoft's Bing, at about one per cent each.

The changes are an extension of last year's integration of Google's Caffeine technology, designed to introduce more recent results for specific searches. The changes announced would improve this further, making news searches and details of events more current, Google said.

Ranjan Patel, statistician (search quality), Google, says, “It is difficult to gauge exactly what information people want from their search queries. However, Google's algorithmic adjustment is designed to maximise the likelihood that the results it generates would fit the specific user's needs.” He adds along with fresh results, Google Search would also look at the result's content, including topicality and quality.

Users searching for breaking news stories on the search engine would now see the most recent coverage, not just sites that are most linked to. “For more general searches, the results now generated would include more up-to-the-minute information. For example, reviews would take the most recent device specifications, rather than the most common ones,” says Patel.

Microsoft's search engine, Bing, recently updated its results to include data from users' social networks to enhance the Bing experience. “This lets users find not only what they're looking for, but view related information from their family, friends, co-workers and contacts, whether it's about liking the same band, eating at a restaurant or booking a trip,” says Sean Suchter, who heads Bing’s social search team at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus, in an official release.

First Published: Tue, November 08 2011. 01:46 IST