Yesterday Google announced yet another change to its algorithm, this time with the focus on pushing more up to date content to the top of the listings. Following on from their ‘Caffeine’ web indexing system which was completed last year, Google is now able to search for fresh content on a massive scale. They are putting this together with the ability to detect if your search term is looking for recent information first and so presenting your results to reflect this.

Nobody knows how it works but Google claims it will affect roughly 35% of all searches which is huge, and they feel confident that the results your start to see will indeed reflect better the information you’re searching for.

Google has broken down a few examples in its blog but in its basic form it detects if you’re searching for something where time is a crucial factor. For example if you search for the Olympics, Google will assume you want to know about the 2012 games before any other and the results will reflect that.

However, this doesn’t mean that recent becomes best. The quality of the content and relevance to the user is still the top priority, but if it matches other content in these areas and is the freshest it should come top.

It’s another bright idea by Google and one that I’m sure will be welcomed by most users and fits with the way most of search for information. But it does seem as though Google is changing a lot in a short space of time which creates real challenges for those trying to develop their sites within Google’s standards.

Then again, providing fresh and regularly updated content has always been up there as good practice if you want Google to regularly visit and index your pages so perhaps it’s merely now rewarding those who are doing this. And of course encouraging those who aren’t.

It’s a waiting game again to see how this change will affect results and if some websites will see their ranking go up or down. But one thing is clear and that’s Google is not sitting back on its laurels, it’s on the move and we’d better keep up.