Google recently released a blog post and video detailing ten recent search algorithms. Now just to be clear, Google is not doing this to be nice and help you understand their system better. They are facing an antitrust investigation among other things. Of course this disclosure is just a small sampling (10 of 500+ changes) so it is not going to allow you to jump to the top of the search engine results, but it will give a better idea of what Google is looking for when crawling and reviewing websites.
Here is a quick review of some of the more relevant items.
- Google is more likely to choose text from the page content, and less likely to use text that is part of a header or menu. Honestly this is nothing new.
- They are putting more relevance on titles specific to the page content instead of boilerplate links with duplicate anchor text. Anchor text in links has slowly been losing relevancy over the years as people abused anchor text links. Ideally you should still concentrate on both as they make for a better user experience.
- Providing fresher more recent results. A lot of this has to do with the loss of the agreement with Twitter in addition to trying to compete with the fresh news and content provided by social networks like Twitter, Facebook, etc. Either way this is a win-win for businesses who provide fresh content and news on a regular basis.
And to learn more follow the link in my opening paragraph.