Google updated their Inside Search quality changes for February this week and announced 40 new updates, i will digest the list and feedback on specific SEO related changes.
Firstly, an interesting update was mentioned regrinding link evaluation, as ever Google are quite vague on the update as to not unlock Pandora’s box with secrets of the algorithm, but interesting none the less as to what has been ‘switched off’ in link signals:
Link evaluation. 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.
Another, the Panda update, this update is not a ranking signals change but more of a data refresh similar to previous Panda updates – see The Google Panda Update, One Year Later [infographic]:
Panda update. This launch refreshes data in the Panda system, making it more accurate and more sensitive to recent changes on the web.
An update to the site: search query, this could be interesting in seeing how Google ranks a sites pages:
“Site:” query update [launch codename “Semicolon”, project codename “Dice”] This change improves the ranking for queries using the “site:” operator by increasing the diversity of results.
Here are a few others from the Google update post:
Tweak to categorizer for expanded sitelinks. [launch codename “Snippy”, project codename “Megasitelinks”] This improvement adjusts a signal we use to try and identify duplicate snippets. We were applying a categorizer that wasn’t performing well for our expanded sitelinks, so we’ve stopped applying the categorizer in those cases. The result is more relevant sitelinks.
Less duplication in expanded sitelinks. [launch codename “thanksgiving”, project codename “Megasitelinks”] We’ve adjusted signals to reduce duplication in the snippets forexpanded sitelinks. Now we generate relevant snippets based more on the page content and less on the query.