There’s been a long list of Google updates over the past two months, 65 in fact!

While monitoring the changes we’ve noted down the ones which will have the biggest impact on search results. The important things we’d like to highlight with this summary, is that Google are continuing to put emphasis on fresh, quality content. There were four updates specifically targeting the quality of content on websites, and another update which targeted the freshness of content, reducing the value of sites which feature a lot of old text and images etc. and increasing the value of those which are frequently updated. The other updates which will have a big impact on search results are new factors affecting the rankings in local searches. As local search (Google Places which is now merging with Google+) gathers more and more exposure, so too does the importance of optimising for it.

You can view the full list of updates here, and here is our summary of the changes which will have the biggest impact on SEO:

  • #82862. [project “Page Quality”] This launch helped you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
  • #LTS. [project “Other Ranking Components”] We improved our web ranking to determine what pages are relevant for queries containing locations.
  • #Imadex. [project “Freshness”] This change updated handling of stale content and applies a more granular function based on document age.
  • #83442. [project “Snippets”] This change improved a signal we use to determine how relevant a possible result title actually is for the page.
  • #nearby. [project “User Context”] We improved the precision and coverage of our system to help you find more relevant local web results. Now we’re better able to identify web results that are local to the user, and rank them appropriately.
  • #82279. [project “Other Ranking Components”] We changed to fewer results for some queries to show the most relevant results as quickly as possible.
  • #84010. [project “Page Quality”] We refreshed data for the "Panda" high-quality sites algorithm.
  • #83377. [project “User Context”] We made improvements to show more relevant local results.
  • #84394. [project “Page Quality”] This launch helped you find more high-quality content from trusted sources.
  • #83406. [project “Query Understanding”] We improved our ability to show relevant Universal Search results by better understanding when a search has strong image intent, local intent, video intent, etc.
  • #81360. [project “Translation and Internationalization”] With this launch, we began showing local URLs to users instead of general homepages where applicable (e.g. blogspot.ch instead of blogspot.com for users in Switzerland). That’s relevant, for example, for global companies where the product pages are the same, but the links for finding the nearest store are country-dependent.