40 Google updates for february



Google released this month's search quality highlights, revealing 40 algorithm changes in February, with a handful rolling out today and tomorrow. Among those, are tweaks to the spam, SafeSearch, link evaluation and Panda updates.

While most of the changes are fairly minor, we have highlighted the ones we think are most important.

Panda - Much like the 3.2 update, this update is simply a refresh of the data used in the algorithm and isn't expected to create any major fluctuations in traffic. (Unless you have an ad heavy site or a site with duplicate content)

Link Evaluation - Google has decided to 'turn off' a method of evaluating links that they have used for years to help determine what the linked page is about. However, their vague response doesn't give much insight to their new method for evaluating links.

"We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable."

Freshness - Google has applied new signals to help retrieve the most current and relevant results even more quickly.

Local Search - Local search has been playing a bigger role in search results over the last few years and this month's tweak determines that local results will now be triggered more so through the main search ranking factors.

This improvement improves the triggering of Local Universal results by relying more on the ranking of our main search results as a signal.

In addition to these changes, fresher images, update to the Google bar, improvements to travel related searches and improved snippets for videos were some of the other changes seen for February. A complete list of all changes this month can be found here.

If you have any questions about updates and how they can affect your rankings or want to know how to keep your rankings intact in 2012, contact your SEO agency.

Submitted by Erica Machin, Titan Growth

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