Google Search Tweak Alters 35% of Searches, Focuses on Newer Results

Thirty-five percent of searches will now look a lot different--and focus on fresher search results--thanks to a change in Google's algorithm.

Google says it wants to be able to figure out if you're looking for recent material, such as the latest news in the Presidential race, or current happenings in the Occupy Wall Street protests. When topics a trending on the Web, newer results will get ranked higher.

Google is also tweaking its algorithm to show the most recent results from regularly occurring events, such as the Olympics. Topics that are updated frequently, such as hot gadgets or product reviews, will also get the chronological boost in search results.

Basically, it's as if search results that once appeared only in Google News will now be integrated into the main list of links.

But not all searches will be ranked according to freshness. Recipes, for example, never really get old. Neither does historical information.

"This algorithmic improvement is designed to better understand how to differentiate between these kinds of searches and the level of freshness you need, and make sure you get the most up to the minute answers," Google Fellow Amit Singhal wrote on the Official Google Blog.

You'll probably notice some of these changes immediately. For instance, right now the Internet is buzzing about what happens when you run a Google search for "Do a barrel roll." (Try it.) Already, the top results include an entry on Know Your Meme and a comment thread on Reddit.

The algorithm isn't perfect, however. A search for "best $500 laptop" included, as its third result, a PCWorld article that was written in 2005.

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