Google makes around 500 changes to their algorithm every year to make the search easy and to provide updated results to the users. Anytime there is a change in the Google Algorithm, it becomes news. There have been some recent changes to Google, but there is no need to guess these changes as Google has released the details of the changes and how these changes impact the search results and rankings of the websites in SERP.
Here is the brief of the recent Google Algorithm changes:
1) For queries in language for which limited content is available, Google will now translate relevant English web pages and display the translated titles directly below the English titles in the search results. For webmasters, it will be beneficial as they can now search new markets, which couldn’t be done previously due to language boundaries.
2) The snippets on the search result page now show more page content and less header/menu content. It points out that Google is starting to put more attention to the text in “Actual Page Content” than headers and menu content. For webmasters, they need to ensure that they are presenting right content on the right page.
3) Google found that boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text are not as relevant, so these will be given less emphasis. For webmasters, they need to understand that site wide linking (in headers, footers and blog rolls) will not lead to any better ranking.
4) An Autocomplete prediction in Russian has been improved. Now, Google will not do predictions that are very long in comparison either to the partial query or to the other predictions for that partial query. This is already practiced in English. This is good news for Russian users but not useful for English users.
5) Users searching for software applications will see more rich snippets including cost and user reviews, within their search results. For webmasters, it would be useful to add descriptive rich snippets for software applications in order to get a higher ranking.
6) Google retired a signal in Image Search related to images that had references from multiple documents on the web. This tweak is aimed to improve image search function. But maybe Google is trying to decrease the link juice from sites like Flicker, Dailymotion, etc.
7) Google made a significant change on how to rank the fresh content. This change impacted around 6-10% of the search results and better determines the appropriate level of freshness for a given query. This change would highly benefit the news websites. For webmasters, they need to update the content on regular basis in order to rank high in Google.
8) Google will tend to rank official websites even higher on Google’s result page. And this change is intended to provide the users with more relevant and authoritative results. Basically, this is good news for long-established brands. The official sites will get better rankings and the industry giants get a stronger hold on search results too!
9) Date-restricted queries have been improved to ensure that users get the most relevant results for that specific date range. It means if your company’s news is in Google News then expect it to be given more prominence now during the time the news is still relevant.
10) Autocomplete predictions for Hebrew, Russian and Arabic have been improved. There is nothing specific about it; just the user experience for non-English speaking users will get better.
For website owners and webmasters, they need to work accordingly to get their websites rank high in search engines. Focus more on the content part of the website as it is given more importance and try to use the variations of anchor texts for linking.